Los Angeles Kings will get salary cap relief during Slava Voynov’s suspension

Matt Larkin
Slava Voynov's salary will no longer count as part of L.A.'s cap hit while he is suspended. (Photo by Juan Ocampo/NHLI via Getty Images)

Slava Voynov’s domestic violence saga continues, but its direct impact on the Los Angeles Kings was diminished Friday.

Voynov has been charged with one felony count of corporal injury to spouse with great bodily injury. The Kings defenseman, 24, allegedly injured wife Marta Varlamova’s eyebrow, cheek and neck seriously enough to require medical attention, and Voynov was arrested Oct. 20.

In a statement Friday, the NHL announced the existing terms of Voynov’s suspension “will be continued indefinitely.” The league also stated, through NHL.com:

“However, in light of the uncertain and potentially extended period of time that the legal process may entail, the NHL and the NHLPA have agreed to permit the Kings to replace Mr. Voynov’s Salary and Bonuses pursuant to the Bona Fide Long-Term Injury Exception under the terms of the NHL/NHLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement.”

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Nashville finally has a top line and they’ve got Music City rocking

The Hockey News
Predators forwards Filip Forsberg (Left), James Neal (Middle), and Mike Ribeiro celebrate.

By Namish Modi

For the first time in franchise history, the Nashville Predators appear to have a bona fide top line.

The newly constructed unit consisting of Mike Ribeiro, James Neal, and Filip Forsberg, along with new bench boss Peter Laviolette, has the Predators (12-5-2) playing a much different style of hockey than years past.

“It’s a big difference from the past couple of years from how Nashville has been playing,” Forsberg said. “It’s all good, Peter coming here with a more attacking and offensive type of game, I think we’ve been adjusting to that really good so far, and we have to keep doing that and keep working hard.” Read more

Daniel Alfredsson intends to retire, according to report

Jared Clinton
alfredsson

After 18 seasons, it appears Daniel Alfredsson is finally hanging up the skates.

According to a report from TSN’s Darren Dreger, the long-time Ottawa Senator has decided that he will not return to action. Suffering from an injured disc in his back for some time, there was some doubt about if Alfredsson could even really continue his career. Read more

Alec Martinez not close to returning because “they nearly cut his finger off”

Jared Clinton
Alec-Martinez

In today’s terrible hockey news, Los Angeles Kings defenseman Alec Martinez is going to be out a while longer with a broken pinky because “they almost cut the thing off,” according to coach Darryl Sutter.

That’s right: Martinez was nearly pinkyless after breaking the digit while blocking a shot during a game late last week, Sutter told the Los Angeles Times. Read more

Jack Johnson saga a sober warning for today’s NHL millionaire

Jack Johnson (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)

Stephane Robidas has made $25 million during the course of his NHL career, with another $5 million coming to him within the next two years. That’s enough money to set himself, his children and probably his children’s children up for life if he’s responsible with it.

That’s the best part of being a professional athlete. You’re among the best in the world at what you do and you get paid wildly enormous amounts of money to do it. The downside is that in working so hard to become that hockey player, you often become so singularly focused that other areas of your life, like money management, take a back seat. And that opens you up to having others manage your money, which can lead to situations such as the one involving Jack Johnson of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Despite career earnings of almost $21 million, Johnson filed for bankruptcy last month after firing his agent and leaving his finances to his parents.

Given the circumstances, perhaps it’s surprising it doesn’t happen more often.

“I find whenever you start making money, you have lots of friends,” Robidas said. “It’s tough to earn money, but it’s really easy to burn money.”

And the more money you have, the easier it is to watch it burn, or at least have it burn without you knowing about it. According to the excellent report on the Johnson situation by Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch, Johnson allowed his parents complete access to his finances without any accountability checks. And when he did ask questions about where his money was going, he took the answers at face value.

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Why Jason Spezza’s contract extension was horrible timing by Dallas

Matt Larkin
Jason Spezza has 18 points in his first 20 games with Dallas. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Everything about the Dallas Stars’ season was a head scratcher leading up to Friday, so the announcement of Jason Spezza’s four-year, $30-million contract extension is fitting.

Jason Spezza was a good get for the Dallas Stars in a summer trade with Ottawa that didn’t cost GM Jim Nill an arm and a leg. Spezza, 31, still had plenty left in the tank. He remained a point-per-game player, give or take, he was excited to play in a less hockey-mad market and there was a solid chance he would flourish as Dallas’ No. 2 center behind Tyler Seguin.

Spezza’s short stay as a Dallas Star has delivered on expectations. He’s tallied 18 points in 20 games, racking up assists on the power play. He hasn’t been a world beater in his own zone, but Spezza was never mistaken for Patrice Bergeron to begin with.

Note the term “short stay,” however. The man is 20 games into his Dallas Stars career. Why on Earth would this team sign him to a four-year extension now? The reasons not to stick out like a mason jar full of sore thumbs.

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Chicago star Duncan Keith: “Practices tire me out more than games”

Ryan Kennedy
Duncan Keith (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

The first time Duncan Keith played in the Olympics, he returned to Chicago with a gold medal and then helped the Blackhawks win their first Stanley Cup in nearly 50 years while averaging about 27 minutes of ice time in 104 total NHL games between the regular season and playoffs. Last year he earned his second Olympic gold with Canada and would have won his third Cup had the Hawks not lost a heartbreaking Western Conference final to Los Angeles (admit it, New York…). You would think the compressed NHL schedule in those Olympic years would be tough to shoulder, but Keith sees things the opposite way.

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