In statement, agent says Voynov returning to Russia

NHL agent Rolland Hedges released a statement on behalf of his client, Slava Voynov today:

“Earlier today, I notified the National Hockey League, the National Hockey League Players’ Association and the Los Angeles Kings of my decision to immediately begin the formal process of returning to Russia with my family. I sincerely apologize to those in and around the game of hockey, who have been affected by my situation, and I also wish the Players of the LA Kings success in the future”.

The Kings then released their own statement:

LOS ANGELES – On July 2, Slava Voynov entered a plea of no contest to domestic violence. Since that development, Mr. Voynov has been in the custody of the Seal Beach Detention Center and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. During this period of detention, the Los Angeles Kings decided he would no longer play for the team. The method by which we would ensure this outcome was something we carefully considered and we established a deadline of September 17 – the beginning of our 2015-16 training camp – to reach this outcome. Recently it became evident to us that our conclusion to this process would be to terminate Mr. Voynov’s Standard Player’s Contract. However, Mr. Voynov’s announcement today of his intention to leave the United States and return to Russia makes the termination unnecessary.

As we have publicly stated since Mr. Voynov’s arrest last year, the Kings organization will not tolerate domestic violence. As part of that commitment, we will soon announce a series of new Conduct Awareness Training Initiatives that reflect the values and principles central to our franchise.

//end Kings statement

Here’s to hoping Marta Varlamova will be supported and that she and her daughter will be permanently safe.

Voynov had four years and $19.25-million remaining on his contract.

I’ll have more shortly, but before then, here are several secondary aspects to consider:

By voluntarily departing, Voynov could attempt to apply for a visa and re-enter the country, but that option or decision is unclear and speculative. From Nathan Fenno’s LA Times article on September 3:

Daniel Todd, a San Diego lawyer who specializes in immigration matters, said an option open to Voynov is to voluntarily leave the U.S. immediately and reapply for a visa. But there is no straightforward answer.

“His lawyers didn’t seem to think he was going to be deportable based on this when they took the plea,” Todd said. “They may realize that he’s stuck now and he has to just take it.”

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