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Voynov To Leave LA Kings, Return to Russia Amid Legal Troubles

  • RFE/RL

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov will leave the United States and return to Russia amid mounting legal problems stemming from domestic violence charges.

The two-time Stanley Cup champion announced on September 16 that he was ending his contract with the Kings early. He apologized to "those in and around the game of hockey who have been affected by my situation."

Voynov was arrested in October and charged initially with a felony for domestic violence after a fight with his wife, Marta Varlamova.

Police said Voynov punched, kicked, and choked Varlamova, sending her to an emergency room. Varlamova later characterized the incident as an accident.

Voynov pleaded no contest in July to a downgraded misdemeanor charge, and he spent two months in jail before his release earlier this month. He was then taken into custody by federal immigration officials.

Before joining the U.S. National Hockey League, Voynov played in Russia’s Superleague for Traktor Chelyabinsk and also played for the Russia national team at the Sochi Olympics.

With reporting by AP