NHL Clashes with Team Russia over Slava Voynov

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The NHL has made it clear that Slava Voynov’s suspension from the league makes him unable to compete at the World Cup of Hockey, but the Russian Hockey Federation says the Russian defenseman should be allowed to play regardless of his suspension. Team Russia has contacted their lawyers and will make sure the he is allowed to represent Russia.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said about Voynov:

He’s been suspended from the league. The Russian Federation was told that he was not eligible to play in the World Cup. What happens from that moving forward in terms of what somebody may try to do is a different story. But his status has not changed.

In July 2015, Voynov was sentenced to 90 days in jail after a plea of no contest to a domestic violence charge and was taken into custody by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement immediately upon his release. Voynov chose to voluntarily leave the US and return to Russia.

Vice president of the Russian Hockey Federation, Roman Rotenberg said:

There are a variety of use cases, such as with Dany Heatley…and Dennis Rodman in the NBA, when a person has already been punished, and then he was allowed to participate in sports competitions. Voynov has already paid the (price). The situation with Dany Heatley was much worse. He had a Canadian passport (the incident occurred in the United States, and sanctions could be more severe) but (he was forgiven) and allowed to participate in the (2004) World Cup.

In September 2003, Heatley was involved in a car crash with teammate Dan Snyder. The crash resulted in Snyder’s death and Heatley pleaded guilty to second-degree vehicular homicide, and was sentenced to three years probation.

A decision on Voynov will need to be reached before the beginning of the tournament. Should Voynov be allowed to play in the World Cup?

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