Here’s what the Kings said in a news release about defenseman Slava Voynov’s no-contest plea Thursday on misdemeanor domestic violence that will result in 90 days in jail plus three years probation:
“We believe the legal system has effectively resolved this matter and the punishment is fair and just. Any act of domestic violence is unacceptable. As an organization, the prevention of domestic violence and the education of our players and employees is of paramount importance. We will continue to actively develop and implement a strategy to deliver this message. We remain steadfast in our support of the National Hockey League as they now begin their own investigative process. Until that is complete we will withhold further comment.”
Kings defenseman Slava Voynov entered a plea of no contest to a misdemeanor count of corporal injury to a spouse Thursday in Los Angeles County Superior Court in Torrance and will serve 90 days in jail plus three years probation. He waived his right to a trial in accepting the deal with the District Attorney.
Voynov’s trial on felony domestic violence was to begin next week.
District Attorney Frank Dunnick told the court that a conviction means Voynov would be deported from the United States. Voynov’s defense team objected and Judge Taylor says that it’s a matter for immigration to determine.
In addition, Voynov must complete a 52-week domestic violence course, perform eight hours of community service and pay fines totally roughly $700.
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The Kings suspended Slava Voynov several weeks ago because the defenseman suffered a non-hockey injury, a team spokesman confirmed Wednesday. Voynov was suspended by the NHL indefinitely in the wake of a domestic violence incident at his Redondo Beach home last October.
The 25-year-old Russian tore his right Achilles tendon, reportedly while playing tennis, and appeared at a pre-trial court appearance April 1 on crutches. His trial on charges of felony domestic violence against his wife, Marta Varlamova, is set for July 6 in Superior Court in Torrance.
The Kings’ move means his contract won’t count against the team’s salary cap. His contract would carry a $4.166 million salary-cap hit for the next four seasons. The league suspended him with pay after his arrest in the early-morning hours of Oct. 20.
A police officer testified Dec. 16 at Voynov’s preliminary hearing that Varlamova said her husband punched her in the face during an argument at a Halloween party. She also said he choked after the couple returned to their home, threw her to the floor and kicked her repeatedly.
Voynov also pushed her into a wall-mounted TV, which resulted in a gash above her left eye, which required several stitches to close. Voynov was arrested after he took Varlamova to an emergency room to be treated for her injuries, which included a 1 1/2-inch cut above her eye.
Voynov entered a not-guilty plea Dec. 29.
The NHL’s trade deadline is at noon Monday (Pacific time). Last year, Kings general manager Dean Lombardi pulled off a major move to get veteran winger Marian Gaborik from the Columbus Blue Jackets. Gaborik scored a team-leading 14 goals during the playoffs, helping to guide the Kings to their second Stanley Cup championship in three seasons. Can Lombardi swing another deal that will benefit the struggling club? There was a rumor early Monday that the Kings would attempt to deal suspended defenseman Slava Voynov, but that was shot down quickly.
Last week, Lombardi acquired puck-moving defenseman Andrej Sekera from the Carolina Hurricanes for a draft pick and a prospect, a move designed to fill a void created when Voynov was suspended indefinitely Oct. 20 by the NHL over a domestic violence charge at his Redondo Beach home. The addition of Sekera means the Kings are prepared to move on without Voynov.
Andrej Sekera, the newest member of the Kings’ defense corps, made his debut Friday against the Ducks at the Honda Center. It was all but lost in the Kings’ 4-2 defeat to the Ducks, but Sekera was scoreless in 21 minutes, 32 seconds. He did not record a shot on goal and was on the ice for Ryan Kesler’s goal for the Ducks. He also was on the ice for a second-period shift that lasted an astounding 3:41 as the Ducks pressured the Kings and kept them hemmed in their own zone.
Sekera played alongside Robyn Regehr, reuniting with his frequent defense partner when both were with the Buffalo Sabres. The Kings acquired Sekera on Wednesday from the Carolina Hurricanes, giving up a conditional draft pick and a prospect in order to gain speed, skill and depth on defense with Alec Martinez sidelined by a concussion and Slava Voynov suspended indefinitely by the NHL because of a domestic violence incident in his Redondo Beach home Oct. 20.
The Kings assigned defenseman Derek Forbort to their American Hockey League team in Manchester, N.H., on Friday. Forbort did not play in a game for the Kings, but was used in case of emergency, what with Alec Martinez sidelined indefinitely by a concussion and Slava Voynov suspended indefinitely by the NHL because of a domestic violence charge.
The Kings on Wednesday afternoon acquired the puck-moving, offensive-minded defenseman they’ve lacked since Slava Voynov was suspended indefinitely by the NHL over a domestic violence charge involving his wife in October.
They gave up a prospect and a draft pick in order to get Andrej Sekera from the Carolina Hurricanes, another bold move by Kings general manager Dean Lombardi in a week that’s already seen two players signing long-term contract extensions.
Sekera had 19 points, including 17 assists, in 57 games for the Hurricanes this season. He has 155 points in 470 career games in the NHL, playing the most recent 131 contests with the Hurricanes. He also played with the Buffalo Sabres during a nine-year career.
To get Sekera, a 28-year-old Slovak, the Kings sent prospect Roland McKeown and a conditional draft pick to Carolina. McKeown, 19, was the Kings’ second-round pick (50th overall) in the 2014 draft. The pick was acquired in the deal that sent Linden Vey to Vancouver.
Tuesday, Lombardi signed physical forward Kyle Clifford to a five-season contract extension worth an average of $1.6 million. Monday, Lombardi signed another hard-nosed forward, Jordan Nolan, to a three-season extension worth an average of $950,000.
Lombardi was scheduled to speak with reporters later this afternoon.
Damien Cox of Canada’s sportsnet.ca, one of the best in the business, offers a few thoughts about the state of the Kings leading into the March 2 trade deadline. It’s worth a look. Here’s the link: http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/deadline-decisions-can-kings-afford-to-boost-blueline/