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MOSCOW, May 31. /TASS/. The Russian Ice Hockey Federation (RHF) maintains close dialog with the US-based National Hockey League (NHL) on possbile participation of player Vyacheslav Voynov as part of the Russian national team at the 2016 World Cup in Canada’s Toronto this fall.
"The Russian Ice Hockey Federation is holding negotiations with the organizers of the World Cup - the NHL - concerning the issue of national team’s defender Vyacheslav Voynov," the RHF’s press service told TASS on Tuesday adding that besides the Russian and US sides the negotiations also involve Rene Fasel, the president of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF).
"The Russian Ice Hockey Federation hopes that the organizers of the international competition will make a positive decision on the issue and the defender will be allowed to be included in the roster of the Russian national team," the RHF added.
Known in the United States as Slava Voynov he played in the past for NHL’s Los Angeles Kings before the North American Hockey League suspended him over domestic violence charges and the player returned last autumn back home, where he is currently playing for the national team and KHL’s SKA St. Petersburg club.
With the NHL’s suspension still in force against the Russian player he could be barred from taking part in the World Cup since the North American ice hockey league is the organizer of the prestigious global tournament.
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 and before his suspension, Voynov signed with Los Angeles Kings a six-year contract worth $25 million. Los Angeles Kings drafted Voynov in the second round of the NHL Entry Draft in 2008 (32nd overall).
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.
This month he played for the national team at the 2016 IIHF World Championship, held in the Russian cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg, and scored a goal in the playoffs.
The 2016 World Cup of Hockey will be held in Canada’s Toronto between September 17 and October 1.
Eight teams to take part in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey were divided in two groups. Group A enlists Canada, the United States, the Czech Republic and Team Europe (comprising players from other European countries not taking part in the competition). Group B enlists Finland, Russia, Sweden and Team North America (consisting of under-23 North American players).
The World Cup of Hockey is an international successor of the previously famous Canada Cup (held between 1976 and 1991). After the international event was inaugurated in 1996 it was staged only once again in 2004.
The World Cup of Hockey was organized by the NHL and therefore it was played according to the league’s rules unlike annual Ice Hockey World Championships and quadrennial Winter Olympic hockey tournaments, which are sanctioned by the IIHF and are played to different rules.
The matches of the World Cup of Hockey are played outside the NHL regular season allowing best players of the league to compete in the international event unlike the annual World Championships, which usually overlap with NHL’s playoffs.
The previous Canada Cup, which ran between 1976 and 1991 was held five times with four of them won by Canada and one by the Soviet Union team in 1981. The inaugural World Cup of Hockey in 1996 was won by the United States and the next one in 2004 by Canada.