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Former Russian NHL player deported from US says it does not matter which club to join

September 23, 2015, 17:12 UTC+3 NOVOGORSK
"I only want the team to fight for the [Gagarin] Cup and qualify for the play-offs," the 25-year-old two-time Stanley Cup winner said
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Vyacheslav Voynov

Vyacheslav Voynov

© Artyom Korotayev/TASS

NOVOGORSK /Moscow Region/, September 23. /TASS/. Russian professional ice hockey player Vyacheslav Voynov, who returned to his native country from the United States earlier this week, said on Wednesday he wanted to start playing again as soon as possible and it did not matter to him, which club in Russia he would join.

"I want to join any team as soon as possible and play," Voynov, who is currently training at a base in the Moscow Region city of Novogorsk, told journalists. "There are no preferences. I do not care which city to play for."

"I only want the team to fight for the [Gagarin] Cup and qualify for the play-offs," the 25-year-old defenseman, who is the two-time Stanley Cup winner, added.

Known in the United States as Slava Voynov and playing in the past for NHL’s Los Angeles Kings, the player was scheduled on Wednesday to hold talks with the management of the Chelyabinsk-based Traktor ice hockey club, which holds the rights to the player in the Russia-led Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).

Voynov was a member of the Russian national team playing at last year’s Winter Olympic Games in Sochi and was one of the key contributors for his NHL’s Los Angeles Kings club prestigious Stanley Cup trophies in 2012 and 2014. Following the 2012-2013 season Voynov signed with Los Angeles Kings a six-year contract worth $25 million.

In October 2014 he was arrested on the suspicion of domestic violence against his wife, Marta Varlamova. On July 2, 2015 an out-of-court settlement was achieved. He pled guilty to a minor offence. Voynov was jailed on July 7 to be released ahead of time on September 4. On September 17 he declared his intention to return to Russia.

Los Angeles Kings drafted Voynov in the second round of the NHL Entry Draft in 2008 (32nd overall). His suspension was the longest-ever in the NHL since 1927. Last time he played for the LAK on October 19, 2014.

Similar to Voynov’s incident took place two years ago with another Russia’s NHL player Semyon Varlamov, who is the key goalie of the Russian national ice hockey team and of NHL’s Colorado Avalanche.

In late October of 2013 Varlamov was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence and was charged with third-degree assault and second-degree kidnapping. The charges against the Russian goalie were dropped over the following two months as prosecutors cited the lack of evidence in his case.

However, unlike Voynov, Varlamov was not suspended by the NHL and continued playing throughout two months of court hearings into his case.

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