October 20, 2014 / 3:18 PM / 3 years ago

Kings' Voynov suspended by NHL after domestic violence arrest

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Jun 7, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov (26) battles for the puck with New York Rangers center Brad Richards (19) in the second period during game two of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov was suspended indefinitely by the National Hockey League following his arrest early Monday on a felony domestic violence charge, the league said.

Voynov, 24, will be paid during the suspension but will be barred from all club activities pending a formal investigation, the NHL said.

The Russian defenseman was arrested at 12:45 a.m. by Redondo Beach, California, police at a Los Angeles-area hospital where he was with a female who was being treated for injuries, police said. Police did not release the name of the woman nor the nature of her injuries, saying she had requested confidentiality.

Voynov, who police said was cooperative, was released from jail in the Los Angeles beach community at 9 a.m. after posting $50,000 bond, Redondo Beach police said. He is scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 1.

Police said they received a call from a residential neighborhood reporting a female screaming for about 20 minutes and later crying.

Police were unable to contact the woman but later received a call from police in nearby Torrance that a hospital was treating a woman for injuries, possibly related to domestic violence.

"These developments are of great concern to our organization," the Kings said in a statement. "We support the NHL’s decision to suspend Slava Voynov indefinitely during this process, and we will continue to take appropriate action as the legal proceedings and the investigation by the NHL take their course."

Police said a child was at the residence where the incident occurred and is also part of the investigation.

While the woman was not identified, police confirmed that the incident resulted in a charge of felony domestic violence, which by legal definition involves a wife, girlfriend, relative or cohabitant.

"An arrest does not necessarily mean there is enough evidence for formal charges, and it is our hope that after the police complete their investigation the prosecutors will conclude that charges are not warranted," Voynov's attorney, Craig Renetzky, said in a statement.

Voynov is in the second year of a six-year, $25 million contract deal that pays him $4.16 million annually. The Russian, who has spent his entire four-year career with the Kings, had two assists in six games this season.

Domestic violence in professional sports has taken a higher profile since video emerged last month of National Football League running back Ray Rice knocking out his wife at a New Jersey casino in February.

Rice was originally suspended for two games, but after the video went viral he was released by the Baltimore Ravens and suspended indefinitely by the league. Rice has appealed.

The NHL's handling of the Voynov case is in sharp contrast with last year's arrest of Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov, who was allowed to play while facing second-degree kidnapping charges that were eventually dropped.

Voynov's suspension was in line with the league's labor agreement, the league said in its statement.

Reporting by Steve Ginsburg; Additional reporting by Eric Kelsey in Los Angeles; Editing by Susan Heavey, Eric Walsh, David Gregorio and Cynthia Osterman

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