After serving two-thirds of his 90-day sentence in county jail and almost immediately being arrested by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement upon his release, Slava Voynov is headed back to Russia. However, the announcement did not come from a immigration or government official but rather the 25-year-old promising defensemen instead.
Speaking through his lawyer, Voynov said “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 L.A. Kings success in the future.” The remaining $19.25 million owed to the Chelaybinsk native for the next four years no longer counts towards the Kings cap.
Voynov’s self-depart comes as little surprise since it was evident by his detainment by ICE that they intended to send him packing to Russia, Voynov’s legal team just beat them to the punch. With his now imminent return back home in the early stages, the door could remain open for a return to the USA since Voynov beat immigration to the punch (no pun intended) of being sent back. Whether he ever comes back to play in the NHL remains to be seen. V
oynov leaves the NHL as the youngest Russian to ever win two Stanley Cups as well the leagues longest suspended player of all-time. I am sure that he will find work rather easily in the KHL as murmurs of contract agreement have been publicized in the Russian press. Voynov finishes his NHL career with 81 points in 190 games.