NHL fines Kings $100,000 for Voynov practice

Hockey Central at Noon debate whether the league should step in to help alleviate the Kings salary cap situation, as they’re forced to play shorthanded due to the Voynov indefinite suspension and the Kopitar injury.

Slava Voynov’s twirl on the ice today cost the Los Angeles Kings $100,000.

The team was fined that amount by the National Hockey League Tuesday for violating the terms of Voynov’s suspension, the NHL announced.

The defenceman skated with his teammates Tuesday morning during a club practice in advance of their game versus the Boston Bruins.

“Such activity is in direct contravention of the terms of the suspension levied Oct. 20, which permit Mr. Voynov to use club facilities and work with team personnel but prohibit his participation in any team-related functions or activities,” the league stated.

Voynov’s appearance at team practice for the first time in well over a month prompted local reporters to ask general manager Dean Lombardi for an update.

Lombardi initially refused comment to Kings reporters, but the L.A. Times‘ Lisa Dillman reported that there was no change in Voynov’s status and that Lombardi believed it would be beneficial for Voynov to be around his teammates.

“It was an optional skate and everybody went,” head coach Sutter told reporters. “He’s supposed to come out after with the injured guys, right after practice. Everybody went today…”

“It was an optional skate, and normally he goes out with injured players after practice or by himself after practice. Today he was out there early.”

Voynov pleaded not guilty Monday to a felony charge of domestic violence against his wife at Los Angeles County Superior Court.

The Russian Olympian’s preliminary hearing was scheduled for Dec. 15. Voynov and his attorneys didn’t speak to reporters after the brief court appearance.

Prosecutors sought a no-contact order between Voynov and his wife, but the court declined. Voynov’s wife is still living with him, and has said she doesn’t fear him.

Voynov has been suspended by the NHL from club activities since a few hours after he was arrested Oct. 20. The two-time Stanley Cup champion has missed 18 games, with pay.

The Kings were granted salary cap relief for Voynov in mid-November.

Last month, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told the Orange County Register it was permissible for Voynov to work out with an assistant coach.

“This was clearly a mistake on our part and we accept full responsibility,” the Kings wrote in a statement. “It is incumbent upon us to be more vigilant in managing this situation to ensure that Slava’s allowable training activities always remain separate from the team.”

(with files from AP)

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