The NHL announced Friday the Los Angeles Kings will now get cap relief during Slava Voynov’s suspension, with his cap hit being treated like a long-term injury.
Slava Voynov’s domestic violence saga continues, but its direct impact on the Los Angeles Kings was diminished Friday.
Voynov has been charged with one felony count of corporal injury to spouse with great bodily injury. The Kings defenseman, 24, allegedly injured wife Marta Varlamova’s eyebrow, cheek and neck seriously enough to require medical attention, and Voynov was arrested Oct. 20.
In a statement Friday, the NHL announced the existing terms of Voynov’s suspension “will be continued indefinitely.” The league also stated, through NHL.com:
“However, in light of the uncertain and potentially extended period of time that the legal process may entail, the NHL and the 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.”
That means Voynov’s $4.18 million cap hit gets the same treatment as that of any player on long-term injured reserve, like Marc Savard and Chris Pronger. It’s a huge relief for the Kings. They’d surely rather have Voynov in the lineup playing 20-plus minutes a night among their top four defensemen, but in his absence, unable to receive cap relief for the past 14 games, they’ve been regularly shorthanded, sometimes having to roll with five blueliners. Now, the burden of his salary is removed from their cap number, though they’ll still pay him in actual dollars.
It sets a interesting new precedent for the handling of certain suspensions, raising the question over whether any subsequent player arrests resulting in suspensions will earn LTIR designation.
Voynov is due in court Dec. 1.
Matt Larkin is an associate editor at The Hockey News and a regular contributor to the thn.com Post-To-Post blog. For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, subscribe to The Hockey News magazine. Follow Matt Larkin on Twitter at @THNMattLarkin