Slava Voynov, a former Kings defenseman who returned to his native Russia last month after serving about half of a 90-day sentence for domestic violence, is close to signing a contract in the KHL, according to a report Friday on the website R-Sport.ru.
Voynov has requested a transfer to SKA St. Petersburg from Traktor Chelyabinsk, where he would join former NHL players Ilya Kovalchuk, Dmitri Kalinin, Anton Belov, Alexei Ponikarovsky and Evgeny Artyukhin, the website reported.
“(Voynov has) decided to play for SKA due to the fact that the club with compete for the Gagarin Cup,” Ravil Iskhakov, Voynov’s agent, told R-Sport with the translation posted on The Hockey News’ website. “This will help Voynov prepare for matches for the national team of Russia.”
Details of the contract were not available.
Voynov could return to play in North America with Russia in the World Cup of Hockey next fall, which begins Sept. 17 in Toronto.
The NHL suspended Voynov with pay after his arrest in the early-morning hours of Oct. 20. He did not play again in 2014-15 and then suffered a torn Achilles’ tendon while playing tennis and was unable to skate. The Kings suspended him without pay for hurting himself in a non-team activity.
Voynov pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence and served about 45 days in jail in Seal Beach. Agents for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement took him into custody early last month. He then returned to Russia voluntarily, avoiding a deportation hearing.
He has been in Russia since Sept. 22, according to R-Sport.