LOS ANGELES — Slava Voynov’s attorney says the Los Angeles Kings defenceman never hit his girlfriend, and blames Voynov’s arrest on a misunderstanding caused partly by the couple’s limited ability to speak English.
Craig Renetzky is hopeful the NHL will end Voynov’s indefinite suspension after reviewing the events that led to Voynov’s arrest on suspicion of domestic violence at a hospital near his home.
Voynov hasn’t been charged.
“From everything they’ve both said to me, this didn’t amount to a crime,” Renetzky said. “I think when the police understand what happened, their impression will be quite different.”
Renetzky interviewed Voynov and his girlfriend extensively with help from a Russian interpreter. Without providing specific details, Renetzky said Voynov’s girlfriend’s injury resulted from “an accident.”
“Slava never hit her,” Renetzky said. “She was injured, but it’s not a result of Slava punching her or anything remotely like that.”
Redondo Beach police presented the investigation Wednesday to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, which requested more information before deciding whether to file charges. Voynov isn’t due in court again until Dec. 1.
The NHL suspended Voynov indefinitely with pay on Monday, an action firmly supported by the Kings.
Voynov is free on $50,000 bond, and the couple is still living together in Redondo Beach, a Los Angeles suburb, Renetzky said.
“My hope is the courts and the league will look at what happened, what the reports show,” Renetzky said. “My hope is the district attorney’s office will keep an open mind, look at what the woman involved has said, and they’re going to conclude there’s no criminal activity.”
Renetzky said he has been in contact with the NHL and the players’ union to offer the couple’s description of what happened.
The Kings have 18 games before Voynov’s next court appearance, but Renetzky hopes the situation is resolved before then.
“He’s very anxious to get back on the ice,” Renetzky said.
The defending Stanley Cup champions host Buffalo on Thursday.