The Kings on Saturday recalled defenseman Jeff Schultz from Manchester of the American Hockey League after re-assigning him there earlier in the week. The Kings are shorthanded in their defense corps because of the NHL’s indefinite suspension of Slava Voynov because of a domestic violence charge and also because of a hand injury to Robyn Regehr that’s expected to sideline him for up to three weeks.
Kings defenseman Slava Voynov is scheduled to be arraigned in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Monday in Torrance on charges of domestic violence stemming from an Oct. 19 incident at his Redondo Beach home. Voynov was suspended indefinitely with pay by the NHL on Oct. 20. He is free to skate on his own and use the Kings’ training facility in El Segundo. He is able to speak with teammates and the coaching staff as they pass in the hallway and the locker room.
It’s safe to say the Kings miss the 24-year-old Russian on the ice. He is certainly not out of sight or out of mind, as far as the KIngs are concerned.
“I don’t see how we couldn’t miss Slava,” Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said after the team’s morning skate Saturday. “Slava is ne of the best defensemen on our team and in our conference. He’s a great player. Obviously, we miss him a little bit, but I think other guys have done a great job of stepping up and not trying to replace him but playing in his spot for right now. Guys have done good job.
“I think our ‘D’ corps has played pretty solid this year. We’ve had our ups and downs, but so has our whole team.”
Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr suffered an unspecified upper-body injury during their 6-4 victory Thursday over the St. Louis Blues and could not finish the game. It wasn’t immediately clear how serious the injury was or whether Regehr could play in Saturday afternoon’s game against the Arizona Coyotes at Staples Center.
One thing was for sure, however. The Kings cannot afford to lose another veteran defenseman for a prolonged period. They have been without Slava Voynov since Oct. 20, when he was suspended by the NHL because of a domestic violence arrest. Voynov was ordered to stand trial in the case earlier this week.
Regehr has been sidelined for three games already this season because of an undisclosed injury. Alec Martinez sat out seven games because of an upper-body injury and Jake Muzzin missed six games because of an upper-body injury.
Here’s a link to photos from Monday’s preliminary hearing: http://photos.dailybreeze.com/2014/12/photos-la-kings-player-sasha-voynov-prelim-hearing-on-domestic-abuse-charges/#1
Kings defenseman Slava Voynov will stand trial on domestic violence charges, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Hector M. Guzman ruled Monday. The judge determined after a preliminary court hearing there was strong enough evidence that Voynov, 24, should be tried. An arraignment was set for Dec. 29.
Voynov punched, choked and kicked his wife before pushing her into a wall-mounted flat-screen TV in the couple’s Redondo Beach home on Oct. 19, according to the testimony of a Redondo Beach police officer. Voynov’s wife suffered a gash over left eye that required eight stitches to close.
Voynov was suspended with pay by the NHL on Oct. 20. He pleaded not-guilty to one count of corporal injury to a spouse with great bodily injury, a felony. He remained free on bail.
Redondo Beach police officer Gregory Wiist offered the first detailed account of what happened between Voynov and his wife, Marta Varlamova, In graphic testimony, Wiist said he first questioned Varlamova at Little Company of Mary Medical Center in Torrance. She told the officer she had argued with Voynov at a Halloween party and then he punched him in the face when things escalated.
After departing for home in a taxi, the two continued to argue, according to the officer’s testimony. Wiist said Varlamova told him that Voynov pushed her to the floor, kicked her and choked her. Voynov then shoved his wife into the TV, opening a gash. It was only at this point, the officer said, that the player became concerned.
“It wasn’t until then that the attack stopped,” Wiist said Varlamova told him.
The pair sought medical attention at the hospital. Wiist arrived after Torrance police contacted their Redondo Beach colleagues. Wiist said he tape-recorded an interview with Varlamova at the hospital and then, upon returning to the residence, conducted a second taped interview with the woman. Voynov was taken into custody in the early-morning hours of the 20th, the officer said.
The Kings had this to say in a statement after the NHL fined them $100,000 for violating the terms of Slava Voynov’s indefinite suspension: “This was clearly a mistake on our part and we accept full responsibility. It is incumbent upon us to be more vigilant in managing this situation to ensure that Slava’s allowable training activities always remain separate from the team.”
Slava Voynov joined his teammates for what the Kings called an “optional” morning skate Tuesday at their El Segundo training facility. The NHL promptly fined the Kings $100,000 for violating the terms of Voynov’s indefinite suspension for a domestic violence incident at his Redondo Beach home in October.
Here’s part of what the league said in an email announcing the fine:
“Voynov skated with teammates today during a Club practice. Such activity is in direct contravention of the terms of the suspension levied Oct. 20, which permit Mr. Voynov to use club facilities and work with team personnel but prohibit his participation in any team-related functions or activities.”
Hard to imagine what Voynov and the Kings were thinking. Voynov entered a not-guilty plea in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Monday. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Dec. 15.
Here’s the link to our story, via Larry Altman: http://www.dailybreeze.com/general-news/20141201/la-kings-player-slava-voynov-pleads-not-guilty-to-domestic-violence-charges-hires-kobe-bryants-attorney
Here are a few things to watch when the Kings face the Predators in Nashville:
The Kings’ three-game trip continues with a stop in Nashville to play the rejuvenated Predators (13-5-2). The Kings are 11-6-4 overall, but only 1-4-3 away from the cavernous confines of Staples Center. They began their trip by falling behind the Dallas Stars by three goals en route to a 5-4 loss Saturday
Kings coach Darryl Sutter continues to overplay defenseman Drew Doughty, who was on the ice for a career-high 33 minutes, 7 seconds Saturday. Injuries and the indefinite suspension of Slava Voynov have left the Kings shorthanded on the blue line. Sutter would prefer to play Doughty less and has acknowledged the harm in overworking him.
The Kings received salary-cap relief from the NHL last week in the Voynov case, but haven’t exercised their flexibility to recall anyone from Manchester (N.H.) of the AHL. Alec Martinez has been skating, but it’s uncertain when he’ll be sound enough to play after he underwent finger surgery.
Here’s the news release from the NHL:
“NEW YORK (NOVEMBER 21, 2014) — The National Hockey League announced
today that the existing terms of its suspension of Los Angeles Kings’
Player Slava Voynov will be continued indefinitely.
“However, in light of the uncertain and potentially extended period of
time that the legal process may entail, the NHL and 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.”
What it means is the Kings are now free to make roster moves they couldn’t make because they were right up against the salary cap. They can recall players from the minor leagues, in other words, without going over the cap. Adding players and their salary is no longer an issue.