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Slava Voynov is toxic and should be treated as such

June 13, 2018, 1:31 PM ET [54 Comments]
Ryan Wilson
Pittsburgh Penguins Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
There are rumors that Slava Voynov wants to return to the NHL. Which team wants to ignore basic decency and spit in the face of the morally sound fans that are in their fan base? The Voynov situation isn’t something that will be, and shouldn’t be, swept under the rug. Whoever potentially signs him is going to get a much deserved fire storm of bad press.

Pittsburgh should not give signing this player a second thought. Whatever gains on the ice will be dwarfed by voluntarily signing an abuser like Voynov. However, they already employ somebody that has exhibited abusive characteristics, backup goalie Casey DeSmith. Here is an article from Fosters.com

According to court documents the incident occurred at approximately 12:59 a.m. on Aug. 31. Durham police officers say they received a call from a woman who stated she was a domestic violence victim and that DeSmith had assaulted her.

*According to police statements,the victim was thrown to the ground, jumped on top of, and was repeatedly punched and spat upon. Police say that DeSmith “appeared intoxicated” and that when they arrived, the victim had physical evidence of the assault on her body.

Once officers located DeSmith, he was taken to the hospital. Once he was assessed, the officers attempted to handcuff DeSmith. He resisted and had to be wrestled to the ground, police said.

Here is the fallout from the incident

DeSmith, a Rochester native, signed a diversion agreement at the Dover District Court on Thursday, and admitted to assaulting a woman in Durham Aug. 31. As part of the agreement, DeSmith is required to undergo drug and alcohol counseling for up to a year, and be monitored by Strafford County Corrections, which may include random alcohol testing. DeSmith also has to complete 40 hours of community service through the County Work Program. He is on probation for 12 months.

So maybe it isn’t above the Penguins to pursue this route after all. Personally I would rather let another organization give him his second chance considering backup goalies are a dime a dozen.

In fairness here was DeSmith's response to the situation courtesey of USCHO's website

“I have learned many valuable lessons from this ordeal that will help me the rest of my life, including the very real dangers of alcohol,” DeSmith said in the report. “But I also believe that the media has a responsibility to seek and print the truth, and to better protect the rights of someone who stands accused in situations like this.

“I am determined not to be bitter about this and am very much looking forward to the next chapter in my life. I know that I am a good person, a person of good character, both ethically and morally. And I am hopeful that the next school or hockey team that I am fortunate enough to be a part of will see that the Casey DeSmith they’ve been reading about in the press bears no resemblance whatsoever to the real me.”

I don't see any specific denials of the physical abuse so take that for what it is worth.

Back to Voynov, his status is similar to Ilya Kovalchuk’s in that the Kings still hold his rights when he comes back and if you want to sign Voynov you need to trade for his rights. The only acceptable course of action other than not doing anything at all would be for the Penguins to trade for Voynov’s rights in exchange for Matt Hunwick’s contract. I would then sit on Voynov’s rights and not sign him locking him out of the NHL (assuming he even gets cleared by the US and NHL).

Whoever actually signs Voynov can compete with the Ottawa Senators as one of the more pathetic organizations in the league.

Thanks for reading!
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