NHL

Slava Voynov didn't hit girlfriend: Attorney

Slava Voynov's attorney says the Los Angeles Kings defenceman never hit his girlfriend, and he blames Voynov's arrest on a misunderstanding partly caused by the couple's limited English.

Kings defenceman remains suspended by NHL

Slava Voynov remains suspended by the NHL after being arrested for domestic abuse. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Slava Voynov's attorney says the Los Angeles Kings defenceman never hit his girlfriend, and he blames Voynov's arrest on a misunderstanding partly caused by the couple's limited English.

Craig Renetzky is hopeful the NHL will end Voynov's indefinite suspension after reviewing the events that led to Voynov's arrest at a hospital near his home.

"From everything they've both said to me, this didn't amount to a crime," Renetzky said. "I think when the police understand what happened, their impression will be quite different."

Renetzky interviewed Voynov and his girlfriend extensively with help from a Russian interpreter. Without providing specific details, Renetzky said Voynov's girlfriend's injury resulted from "an accident."

"Slava never hit her," Renetzky said. "She was injured, but it's not a result of Slava punching her or anything remotely like that."

Voynov hasn't been charged with a crime by Redondo Beach police, who were scheduled to review the case with the district attorney's office Wednesday. The NHL still suspended Voynov indefinitely with pay on Monday, an action firmly supported by the Kings.

Voynov and his girlfriend are still living together in Redondo Beach, a Los Angeles suburb, Renetzky said. Voynov is free on $50,000 bond.

"My hope is the courts and the league will look at what happened, what the reports show," Renetzky said. "My hope is the district attorney's office will keep an open mind, look at what the woman involved has said, and they're going to conclude there's no criminal activity. What truly scares me is Mr. Voynov will be the victim of a rush to judge him before the facts are evaluated."

Renetzky said he has been in contact with the NHL and the players' union to offer the couple's description of what happened. The Kings have 18 games before Voynov is due in court on Dec. 1, but Renetzky hopes the situation is resolved well before then.

"He's very anxious to get back on the ice," Renetzky said. "He's frustrated that he can't skate, that he can't be with the team."

The defending Stanley Cup champions' next game is Thursday at home against Buffalo.

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