L.A. district attorneys want “follow-up” from detectives in Slava Voynov domestic violence investigation

Ken Campbell
Slava Voynov (Photo by Juan Ocampo/NHLI via Getty Images)

(NOTE: This post has been updated. See below.)

A spokesman for the Redondo Beach Police Department refutes the notion that there was no crime committed during the incident allegedly involving Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov Sunday night. He also said Voynov could know his fate as early as Wednesday night.

Meanwhile, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said it’s not a given that the league will reinstate Voynov in time for him to play with the Los Angeles Kings Thursday night against the Buffalo Sabres even if charges are not filed against Voynov. “No,” Daly wrote in an email to thn.com. “I don’t think that is fair to assume. We are certainly going to want to satisfy ourselves with respect to the facts and circumstances before any thought would be given to lifting the suspension.” Read more

Slava Voynov’s lawyer says, ‘there was no crime here’

Ken Campbell
Slava Voynov (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The lawyer for Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov said he interviewed the victim of Voynov’s alleged domestic abuse incident for more than an hour Tuesday and, “it’s clear to me there was no crime here,” and doubts his client will even be charged with an offense.

Craig Renetzky, a criminal lawyer who is representing Voynov in the matter, said the language barrier, both on the part of Voynov and the alleged victim, has created a misunderstanding and that the victim’s injuries that caused her to be hospitalized were the result of an accident. Voynov was arrested early Monday morning at a Los Angeles area hospital after staff at the hospital notified police of a possible domestic abuse case. Voynov was immediately suspended indefinitely by the NHL, but has yet to be charged with anything pending a police investigation. Read more

Calder-eligible Tanner Pearson doing more with less than anyone on the Kings

Ken Campbell
Tanner Pearson (left) and Tyler Toffoli (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

It’s a very small sample size, but if Tanner Pearson continues the torrid pace he’s set through the first six games of the season, a replica of the Calder Trophy will be sitting on his mantle next summer.

And this begs two questions. The first is: Why on Earth doesn’t Darryl Sutter play him more? And the second is: Is it fair that Pearson is eligible for the Calder Trophy in the first place? Read more

Los Angeles Kings pick Adrian Kempe brings power to The Hot List

Adrian Kempe (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

The big news in the prospect world right now concerns the class-action lawsuit filed against the CHL and without going into too much detail, I think this could have a dramatic effect on junior hockey. With profits and losses so extreme across the continent, I believe a minimum wage policy would have to be supported by revenue sharing. But let’s get back on the ice, shall we? Because that’s what The Hot List is, a round-up of the kids we can’t wait to see in the NHL one day.

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The NHL should suspend convicted domestic violence abusers for life

Adam Proteau
Slava Voynov (Dave Sandford/NHL)

The NHL gets a good deal of criticism from this corner, but giving the league credit where due has never been an issue. And when it came down swiftly in regard to domestic violence charges against Slava Voynov – suspending the L.A. Kings defenseman indefinitely – the NHL did exactly what was required. Voynov will have his day in court to defend himself, but the league cannot permit anyone in its employ to remain on the job while accused of such a heinous offense. And although it’s the NHL Players’ Association’s duty to represent its members, it’s difficult to envision them not working with team owners to craft more punitive measures for those players who hurt women.

That said, this new case of domestic violence should show the NHL that, contrary to what commissioner Gary Bettman said earlier this month – “our players know what’s right and wrong” – it isn’t immune from any societal ill. There’s nothing separating NHLers from any other demographic. They are not inherently better than any other group of athletes or people walking the face of the earth. And that’s why they need to be informed, in the strongest possible terms, that under no circumstances will they be permitted to strike a woman without severe consequences befalling them.

How does the league achieve that? A lifetime ban for a first convicted offense would get players’ attention and send a message to women that they are respected as equals and are deserving of basic human dignities and protections. Read more

Bill Daly on Slava Voynov suspension: This is different from Varlamov

Ken Campbell
Slava Voynov and family celebrate after the Kings won the 2014 Stanley Cup. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly implied the league did have the National Football League incidents on its mind when it suspended Slava Voynov in light of the domestic assault arrest against the Los Angeles Kings defenseman, but said it was not the only factor involved in the decision.

In light of the fact that Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov was also arrested on domestic assault charges a year ago and was not suspended by either the league or the Avalanche, it might be natural to tie the NFL’s troubles with domestic violence to the league’s decision to suspend Voynov, who is due to appear in court Oct. 22. Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson are two high-profile NFL players, among others, who have been involved in domestic violence incidents of late and it would be naïve to think the NFL’s bungling of those situations was not a factor. But it wasn’t the only one, Daly said. Read more

Wild’s Jason Zucker narrowly avoids having his throat cut by skate blade

Adam Proteau
Jason Zucker (Juan Ocampo/NHLI via Getty Images)

The NHL has finally put to rest its debate about visors, but as we all know, there are still potentially life-threatening risks associated with playing hockey. Minnesota Wild left winger Jason Zucker got a scare in that regard Sunday when he narrowly avoided serious injury after L.A. Kings left winger Kyle Clifford accidentally kicked him in the face and had his skate blade graze Zucker’s throat.

Zucker tripped Clifford during L.A.’s 2-1 win over the Wild, but as Clifford fell, his right leg kicked behind him and struck Zucker around the head and neck with his skate blade: Read more