I am a little disappointed with the NHL and its manipulation of the LTIR to allow the LA Kings cap relief. It has more to do with the responsibility of an NHL team helping it's players stay within the confines of the law. The flip side of the argument is a simple one, innocent until proven guilty, so why should both Voynov and the Kings be punished for something we do not know has happened (no matter what the public opinion is).

It is like the NHL is trying to hedge it's bets on the result of Voynov's hearing on December 1. After the mess the NFL has created with the Peterson situation and the possible ramifications of the hearing going against the NFL (who knows hey?), you can't blame the NHL for trying to find a middle ground.

This option however seems to go against the whole reason as to why Voynov was suspended in the first case:

The suspension was imposed under Section 18-A.5 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, which provides that, during the pendency of a criminal investigation, "The League may suspend the Player pending the League's formal review and disposition of the matter where the failure to suspend the Player during this period would create a substantial risk of material harm to the legitimate interests and/or reputation of the League."

So by allowing the Kings the cap relief they so desperately want to help their roster decisions at the moment and continuing to pay Voynov his full salary the league is essentially letting the Kings of the hook for (and I hate putting it this way, but I can't find a better way of putting it) not keeping their players in line. Admittedly, whatever they do with the cap relief will not be as good a solution as having Voynov back on the ice, but it is a 'break' I do not think the Kings deserve.

Trying to look at this from the other point of view you can see why the NHL has taken this approach. As yet Voynov has not been proven guilty of the felony charge, that will be decided inside 2 weeks. The Kings can only do so much in relation to player welfare and aside from having a club 'minder' with each player at all times, they cannot be expected to ensure that their players abide by the law, it should be implied. Why should the Kings as an organisation be put at a disadvantage due to an unresolved legal matter that quite frankly happens outside their control.

It is going to be interesting to see what steps the NHL take once a verdict has been handed down, will they leave the cap situation as they have changed it or will they return to 'punishing' the Kings for the result. I cannot see the NHL changing the stance they have currently set down, one thing that may change will be the pay status of Voynov, they may try to enforce a suspension without pay, but that may be challenged by the NHLPA and it will be by his management.

Either way you look at this, it is a mess for the NHL, the Kings and Voynov himself. I hate putting this down as a footnote but also for Voynov's partner, I have read in a few places that she is concerned that due to the way the state of California can handle these charges that the two of them will be separated.

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