Slava Voynov was assigned to Manchester of the AHL today, largely because the Kings have been carrying eight defensemen, they need help at forward and Voynov is the only defensemen who is not subject to waivers. Otherwise, Voynov did little to justify being sent down, and there’s a very strong chance that he will return when teams are allowed to expand their rosters after the Feb. 27 trade deadline. After a five-game stint early in the season, Voynov was assigned to Manchester in late October and returned to the Kings in mid-November. He had two goals and six assists in 28 games in his most recent stint, and regularly played 15-plus minutes. Voynov had been a healthy scratch from the previous three games, with his lineup spot taken by Alec Martinez. After practice today, I asked Darryl Sutter, who had praised Voynov in recent days, what his message was to Voynov after the AHL assignment.
SUTTER: “He’s just got to play. He’s a good player. That’s what is disappointing. I know how he feels. He’s got to play. It’s a numbers thing. We needed the forwards, right? That’s what you do. Then, in the next three or four weeks, that changes because of the way the roster changes after the deadline, and the movement you can make. This is an opportunity for those kids to prove themselves. Slava is good. I’m not saying that because he’s 22. He’s a good player. He’s every bit as good as defensemen that are playing, and aren’t playing, in this league.’’