Options in wake of Voynov situation

With the news yesterday surrounding Slava Voynov’s domestic violence arrest, it should be reiterated that the primary concern at this point is the well-being of the alleged victim, given the details released yesterday by the Redondo Beach Police Department. Though Voynov has not been charged at this point, and there is well established principle of the presumption of innocence, this is obviously a serious matter that takes importance over any Kings personnel options.

Again, this has nothing to do with guilt or innocence, but rather providing information to those who may need them: there are resources and contacts available, as provided by the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence.

Obviously there are secondary roster concerns surrounding how Voynov’s indefinite suspension affects the team’s decisions heading forward.

At this point, Voynov’s cap hit remains on the Kings’ books. That could potentially change over time – there really isn’t any precedent set by a similar, previous situation – but the team is in frequent contact with the league, and as of now, Voynov’s contract will continue to count towards the Kings’ financials, which as of Tuesday came in at $495,394 below the $69M salary cap, per CapGeek.com.

Should Jake Muzzin be able to play on Thursday, the Kings would be able to once again utilize their 20 available players. Muzzin’s X-ray was moved up to Wednesday, and if he is given a clean bill of health, he could slide back into the lineup. It was expected that Muzzin, who suffered an upper-body injury in the second-to-final preseason game, would miss roughly three weeks of action; Thursday’s game is three weeks since his injury occurred.

Should Muzzin not be able to play on Thursday, the Kings have two options: place a player on Long Term Injured Reserve, or play with 12 forwards and five defensemen and then apply for an emergency roster call-up. The former is more likely than the latter.

Should LTIR be utilized, Trevor Lewis would probably be the target. With his $1.525M average annual value not counting towards the salary cap, the Kings would have the space to recall a defenseman from AHL-Manchester. Given that 28-year-old Jeff Schultz ($850K) has greater experience and has played in the playoffs with the Kings, it’s safe to say he’d be amongst the first names considered. Though flexibility is afforded to teams that place players on long-term injured reserve, teams must first deem that the player “will be unfit to play” for at least 24 calendar days and 10 regular season games, per the CBA. Should LTIR be used, Lewis would be eligible to return on November 2 at Carolina, as his placement on IR is retroactive to October 8.

The Kings can’t simply call a player up, as they don’t have the cap space for the minimum $550K salary.

As noted, the situation becomes moot should Muzzin not suffer any setbacks and be able to play on Thursday against Buffalo.

Lewis skated by himself this morning in advance of the Kings’ full team practice, while Gaborik is several days behind and hasn’t resumed skating. As of now, the hope is that Gaborik will be able to skate next week.

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