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NHL suspends Slava Voynov until July 2020 for off-ice conduct

Slava Voynov hasn't played in the NHL since 2014. | Michael Jarecki/For Sun-Times Media

Slava Voynov, the former NHL defenseman who returned to Russia after being convicted of domestic abuse, won’t be eligible to play in the NHL again until the 2020-21 season. The league announced an extended suspension for Voynov on Tuesday that includes the 2019-20 season and 2020 playoffs.

Voynov, 29, hasn’t been able to play in the NHL since 2014, when he was suspended indefinitely after being convicted in California of abusing his wife, Marta. The Kings terminated his $25 million contract in 2015, then he spent the past three seasons playing for KHL superpower SKA St. Petersburg and the Russian national team.

The defenseman’s status with the NHL began to change in 2018 when a judge dismissed Voynov’s misdemeanor conviction after three years of probation that included domestic violence counseling sessions. He reportedly met with NHL officials in recent months to discuss his reinstatement given the developments in his legal situation.

Voynov, assuming no off-ice issues in the meantime, will be eligible to sign a contract with an NHL team starting on July 1, 2020. That’s the start of free agency for the 2020-21 season.