Facing possible deportation, Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov's NHL career may be over.

By Allan Muir
September 04, 2015

There’s no way to sugarcoat the news that Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov was taken into custody by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Wednesday.

“This is very discouraging for Voynov,” says Michael McCann, SI.com’s legal expert. “He now faces the real possibility of deportation from the U.S. and, consequently, the end of his NHL career.”

NHL
Stalled contract talks with Anze Kopitar latest tire fire for Kings

According to the Los Angeles Times, which first reported the story, Voynov was taken into custody by ICE agents after being released from the Seal Beach Police Detention Center and transferred to an unspecified detention facility pending a hearing by an immigration judge. He is being held without bond, a common practice in cases in which the agency believes the subject is a danger to the community or a flight risk.

 
Voynov pleaded no contest to misdemeanor corporal injury to spouse with great bodily injury back in July and was sentenced to 90 days in jail. Even though this charge is classified as a misdemeanor rather than a felony, McCann says ICE has the authority under federal law to hold him and seek his deportation if it considers him to be a dangerous individual.

“The facts relating to Voynov and his abuse of his wife, Marta Varlamova, are very disturbing,” he says. "It appears U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement finds them disturbing enough to seek a hearing before an immigration judge who will evaluate Voynov’s legal status to remain in the U.S. on a visa.”

That decision, though, could be a long time coming, putting the Kings in limbo along with the player.
 
NHL
Report: Blackhawks haven’t asked Patrick Kane to waive no-trade clause
And that’s not the only immigration hurdle he would have to clear to return to action.

“There [also] is a separate legal issue of whether Canadian immigration officials will let Voynov enter Canada to play games there,” McCann said. “Even if Voynov can remain in the U.S., Canada has the right under its laws to deny entry to those who have broken laws in the U.S.”

The Kings are scheduled to play 11 games in Canada this season.

NHL
MLB, Slava Voynov case can help NHL set domestic violence policy standard

But at this point, any decision the team makes is essentially for show. They, like the league and Voynov himself, are now at the mercy of the court.

Hot links

NHL
Report: New York Islanders get new logo, alternate jersey

• There’s no telling if the NHL is ready for Quebec City, but take one look at this inside-and-out tour of their new rink and it’s clear that Quebec City is ready for the NHL. This place looks amazing.

• You don’t have to be a Flyers fan to root for Jakub Voracek this season. Gotta love stories like this.

• Speaking of Philly, the Flyers are counting on more production from this trio of forwards. It might take a little magic from new coach Dave Hakstol to drag it out of them.

• The first showdown of the season between Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel took place this week. And it ... was ... epic.

• Sure, McDavid and Eichel are the focus of all the preseason Calder Trophy talk, but don’t sleep on this guy.

• Scott Powers considers both sides of the Marian Hossa Hall of Fame debate. He and I arrive at different conclusions.

You May Like