The agent for Slava Voynov will attempt to have the Kings defenseman's indefinite suspension lifted by the NHL, saying he feels Voynov's rights are being "infringed right now."
Voynov's camp has become discouraged by the pace of the process. Counting Thursday night against the New York Islanders, he will have missed eight games since he was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence last month.
He has not been charged and Redondo Beach Police Lt. Joe Hoffman said via email that detectives are scheduled to meet with the Los Angeles County district attorney's office Monday.
Rolland Hedges, Voynov's agent, referred to a new section of the collective bargaining agreement in which there is an application for a hearing. He said an option would be to ask the NHL to hear Voynov's concerns and rule on whether he could return instead of waiting for the prosecutor's office to make a decision on the case.
Hedges also said he would need to discuss the hearing option with the NHL Players' Assn. and Voynov's attorney before a decision could be made on the matter.
"The player hasn't been charged with any offense at this point and it's very difficult for the NHL. We understand that," Hedges said by phone Thursday. "The NHLPA, we understand that, as well.
"But there comes a point where the player's rights have to be looked at. From this point forward, the player is going to see what can be done to have the suspension lifted. The player has no control over the criminal prosecution at this point, nor should he.
"But he has cooperated with everything he's been asked to do. All he's doing is to look forward to get back to playing hockey. If he is subsequently charged, he looks forward to defending himself on those charges, if in fact they do occur."
NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said no request for a hearing has been made yet, adding via email:
"What I will say is that, to this point, Mr. Voynov has not participated in the League's efforts to investigate the matter — which, I want to be clear, is his legal and contractual right — but unless and until he is prepared to engage in that process, I don't see the status quo changing."
Section 18-A.4 of the CBA deals with appeals of the commissioner's determination, stating, "… the NHLPA, on a Player's behalf, may file an appeal to the Impartial Arbitrator by giving notice to the League in writing."
Voynov's defense attorney Craig Renetzky confirmed by phone Thursday that Voynov has not been interviewed by the league. It would be highly unusual if that had occurred with the criminal case still pending.
Renetzky said he thought the NHL went too far regarding Voynov's situation, saying the suspension has been longer than anyone anticipated at the start, adding that Voynov's wife did not think a crime had been committed. She was given medical attention at a hospital emergency room in late October, police said at the time, and Voynov later was arrested.
Said Hedges: "There does come a point, let's respect the rights of the player as well. Now just look at how the public perception views this. We've done that. Now let's respect Mr. Voynov's rights and give him his time.
"Everybody's just waiting for the prosecutor's office to do something. … We've been patient. From this point forward, we're going to see what rights we have. We actually know what rights we have. Have the league and NHLPA adopt this new procedure and move the [case] forward."
Helene Elliott contributed to this report.
©2014 the Los Angeles Times
Visit the Los Angeles Times at www.latimes.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services