Slava Voynov, a former Los Angeles Kings defenseman who was suspended indefinitely by the National Hockey League and served jail time for domestic assault, has formally applied for reinstatement to the league.
"We're in the process of an intense factual investigation," deputy commissioner Bill Daly told Dennis Bernstein of The Fourth Period during a media event ahead of the Panthers-Jets game in Helsinki on Thursday. "I'm not in a position to give a timeline. When the investigation is done, commissioner [Gary Bettman] will deal with his application for reinstatement."
Voynov pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of corporal injury to a spouse after his Oct. 20, 2014, arrest. According to the Los Angeles Times, which obtained the police report, Voynov choked his wife with both hands, repeatedly pushed her to the ground and kicked her five to six times on the ground. She was shoved into the corner of a television mounted on a wall and, according to the L.A. Times, told police in a recorded interview: "My blood, all over bedroom and bathroom ... and it's not the first time."
Voynov was suspended indefinitely by the NHL the morning after his arrest. The Kings terminated his six-year, $25 million contract and placed him on their voluntary retirement list. Voynov spent nearly two months in jail. After his release, Voynov agreed to voluntarily leave the U.S. rather than face proceedings with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He spent three seasons in the Kontinental Hockey League in Russia, and won men's hockey gold with his nation in the 2018 Winter Olympics.
After the Olympics, Voynov took the first step toward reinstatement. A judge granted him a dismissal of his misdemeanor domestic abuse conviction on July 2, the day his three years of probation ended. He had an informal meeting with Bettman, and the league began its own investigation into the incident and its aftermath.
"[Voynov] was never in a position to talk to us, so he never cooperated with our security, our outside investigators, which he is entitled to do," Daly told USA Today in September. "But by the same token, before he could be cleared to play, if he can be, we would have to go through that process to understand exactly what happened."
If he's reinstated by the NHL, the Kings retain Voynov's rights as a member of their voluntary retirement list.
The NHL is the only one of the four major North American sports leagues without a specific domestic violence policy. The league handles each incident on a case-by-case basis, with the ultimate ruling coming from Bettman and Daly.
ESPN's Emily Kaplan contributed to this report.