The Los Angeles Kings are tone deaf.
On Wednesday, while in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Slava Voynov announced he would voluntarily return to Russia; thus avoiding the deportation process that was likely to play out in conjunction with his domestic violence case.
Voynov lobbed the Kings a softball they could have hit out of the park, in order to right an earlier wrong they themselves created, and they didn’t even pick up the bat.
As the domestic violence investigation began against the defenseman, the NHL took action before the team, and suspended Voynov from participating in team activities. The organization did nothing except to issue the standard public relations statement about ‘looking into’ the issues. It wasn’t until Voynov injured his Achilles in a non-hockey related activity did the team act by suspending his contract.
It was a B.S. reason, but at least the guy was finally suspended. Because a player must be punished when he puts his body at risk with something as reckless as tennis or volleyball, but when it comes to a domestic violence arrest, well, it’s someone else’s problem.