Helene Elliott calls on Kings to terminate Slava Voynov; jail begins Monday

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Los Angeles Kings' Slava Voynov appears in Superior Court, Thursday July 2, 2015 in Torrance, Calif. Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor Thursday in a domestic violence incident with his wife that escalated after a Halloween party last year.(Brad Graverson/The Daily Breeze via AP) MAGS OUT; NO SALES; MANDATORY CREDIT
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According to Igor Eronko of Sports-Express, Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov will begin his jail sentence on Monday, July 6.

Voynov pled no-contest on Thursday to a misdemeanor count of corporal injury to a spouse, and his jail time will be up to 90 days along with 52 weeks of domestic violence counseling and eight hours of community service (that better damn well be at a women’s shelter). 

Voynov’s NHL agent, Rolland Hedges, said in statement: “Mr. Voynov accepts responsibility for his actions the night of the incident and will complete his sentence as required by the court. Mr. Voynov and his wife believe that ending domestic violence both inside and outside of professional sports must be a high priority.”

Another priority, according to Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times?

Ending Slava Voynov’s time with the Kings.

Elliott wrote a scorcher of a column on Thursday that called for the Kings to cancel Voynov’s contract in the same manner they’ve cancelled that of forward Mike Richards, who was allegedly detained at the Canadian border for attempting to transport oxycodone.

From Elliott:

Does Voynov deserve a second chance? This might have been that second chance. According to court documents, Varlamova told a nurse who treated her that night at Providence Little Company of Mary Hospital in Torrance that Voynov had previously assaulted her. Does that not count in evaluating his ability to learn from his past mistakes?

Those who say it's punishment enough that Voynov was suspended most of last season and must serve jail time and probation, perform community service and go through a domestic violence prevention program should focus on the nature of the incident. If the Kings give him another chance, they would be making it a "gimme" and diminish its magnitude.

Varlamova told Redondo Beach police Voynov punched her in the jaw, choked her three times, pushed her to the ground, kicked her and shoved her into the corner of a flat-screen TV, resulting in a 1.2-inch gash above her left eye. He accepted responsibility for his actions, remember? That should not be forgotten.

The Kings can terminate his contract, trade him, or keep him with the team. Here's a vote for one of the first two options.

Elliott is one of the most respected reporters in hockey and arguably its more venerable female voice. This column has resonated because of that prestige, but also because she’s speaking for the masses: Voynov should have played his last game for the Kings, after his suspensions from the NHL and his team are lifted.

But this is the Kings we’re talking about, and until proven otherwise, they’re the team that had his man practicing with them while suspended and facing domestic violence charges.

And this is the NHL we’re talking about, and Elliott’s no dummy: She knows that if and when the Kings are through with Voynov, someone out there will add him to their top four, their team management spouting off the kind of “reformed mistake-making good husband” pap that David Poile has perfected in defending Mike Ribeiro.

If he can play again, of course. As Elliott writes:

That might become a moot point depending on the results of the NHL's investigation and if U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials decide Voynov's actions warrant deportation. But the Kings can and should get out in front of the issue by saying they don't want him to represent a team whose players' off-ice actions have fallen short of the team's high on-ice standards the last few seasons.

Guess we’ll see how serious Dean Lombardi is when it comes to the character in his locker room, or whether it only gets serious when there’s a contract he’s trying to make disappear without a buyout.