Monday: Russian news outlet Sport-Express reports that there is interest in five NHL teams, listing the Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders, New York Rangers and Winnipeg Jets as Voynov’s preferred landing spots. The Los Angeles Kings are not interesting in bringing Voynov back, which, as explained below, complicates his potential return.
Sunday: The elimination of SKA St. Petersburg earlier in the KHL playoffs brought an end to defenseman Slava Voynov’s contract in the KHL, paving the way for him to seek reinstatement to the NHL which he is expected to pursue in the coming months. Voynov has been suspended from the NHL indefinitely after he faced domestic violence charges back in October of 2014.
The 28-year-old last suited up with Los Angeles and while his original contract was terminated at the time of his departure, the Kings still hold his rights. Team president Luc Robitaille told Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider that there have been no discussions on him possibly rejoining the team as the league would first have to rule him as eligible to play.
Despite recent reports that Voynov is seeking a return, there is nothing clear about his current status. It’s out of our hands. It’s between the league and Slava and his agent. If and when something happens, we’ll discuss it then.”
GM Rob Blake acknowledged that he has received phone calls from teams seeking clarification regarding Voynov’s situation but not necessarily to inquire as to whether or not they would trade his rights.
Voynov played in 39 KHL games this past season, recording 23 points while contributing six more in six Olympic contests. If he is able to get reinstated by the NHL (which would require a hearing with Commissioner Gary Bettman), he would give the Kings another top-four option on their back end or a trade asset if they decide to flip him elsewhere. With Los Angeles already having more than $70MM in contracts committed for 2018-19, the latter option may be the more likely scenario although given how he originally left, the interest elsewhere may not be as robust as it otherwise could have been.