Slava Voynov eligible to return 41 games into next NHL season, but it won't be with Kings

A ruling has finally came down regarding Slava Voynov's suspension. An arbitrator upheld the NHL's one-year suspension to him, saying that it will still be for 82 games. However, the arbitrator concluded that Voynov has already served 41 games of his suspension dating back to last year, which means that he will be eligible to return to the ice halfway (41 games) through next season.

The NHL released a statement on Thursday about the suspension.

The National Hockey League Players' Association and National Hockey League announced today that Arbitrator Shyam Das has issued his decision with respect to the appeal of defenseman Vyacheslav Voynov's one-season suspension issued pursuant to Article 18-A of the NHL/NHLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement. Arbitrator Das upheld the Commissioner's determination that Voynov be suspended for the equivalent of one NHL season, but found that he is to be credited with having already served 41 games of such suspension during the 2018-19 regular season. Accordingly, the suspension will remain in effect until the mid-point of the 2019-20 regular season.

The Los Angeles Kings hold the rights to Voynov, despite terminating his contract in 2015 (the last time he played in the NHL), when he was convicted via no-contest plea of misdemeanor domestic abuse (which was later expunged). The Kings, however, are not interested in having Voynov back on their team.

Voynov may end up finding a home in the NHL, since he hasn't completely been out of hockey. In Russia, Voynov joined SKA St. Petersburg, where he was productive. However, it won't be easy for someone returning to the league after an indefinite suspension like his.

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