Slava Voynov, Kings defenceman, charged with felony domestic violence
Defenceman has missed 14 games to date
Kings defenceman Slava Voynov was charged with felony domestic violence on Thursday by the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.
Voynov faces one felony count of corporal injury to a spouse with great bodily injury. In a statement providing the first public details of the incident, the district attorney's office said Voynov "caused his wife to suffer injuries to her eyebrow, cheek and neck" during an argument at their home, several hours after the Kings won an afternoon game.
The 24-year-old Russian Olympian has been suspended since his arrest early Oct. 20 at a hospital in Torrance, California. He had taken his wife to the hospital for treatment of injuries from their home in nearby Redondo Beach.
Craig Renetzky, Voynov's attorney, has repeatedly said his client didn't hit his wife. Renetzky also said Voynov shouldn't have been arrested, blaming a misunderstanding between police and Voynov's wife, who speaks even less English than her husband.
"Mr. Voynov is extremely disappointed that the district attorney's office elected to file charges," Renetzky said in a statement. "Mr. Voynov maintains his innocence and looks forward to clearing his name in court. We remain confident."
NHL suspended Voynov last month
Voynov was suspended indefinitely by the NHL before he even posted bail on the morning of his arrest. The Kings have wholeheartedly supported the league's disciplinary actions, and they affirmed that position in a statement issued by the team after Voynov was charged.
"We are aware of the actions taken today in California, which we will review and evaluate before making any decisions," NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said. "Until further notice, the current terms of Mr. Voynov's suspension remain in place."
The NHL's position means the Kings will not receive salary cap relief in the absence of Voynov, who is still being paid his $3 million salary during his suspension. With Voynov still counting against the cap, Los Angeles was forced to play with five defencemen earlier this month while unable to recall anyone from the minors to fill in for an injured player.
"As an organization we will continue to closely monitor the developments of the legal proceedings and work in partnership with the NHL to determine the proper course of action in the future," the Kings said in their statement.
Wife didn't want charges filed, but
Voynov isn't allowed to practice or play for the team, but he has been skating at the Kings' training complex after their practices, sometimes under the supervision of an assistant coach.
Voynov will be arraigned Dec. 1 in Torrance. The charge carries a maximum penalty of nine years in prison, and Voynov also could face deportation.
Voynov is a two-time Stanley Cup champion who also played for Russia at the Sochi Olympics. He will miss his 14th straight game Thursday night when the Kings host Carolina.
Through her own attorney, Voynov's wife previously said she didn't want charges filed against the defenceman, but California authorities aren't required to consider such wishes when deciding to file charges.
Voynov and his wife got married during the summer. They are still living together and raising her child from a prior relationship.
Voynov earned a spot in the Kings' lineup as a rookie during their run to their first Stanley Cup title in 2011-12. He scored a career-best 34 points last season, and he has two assists in six games this year.
The Kings signed Voynov to a six-year, $25 million US contract extension in June 2013.