The Kings got the salary-cap relief they had sought when the NHL and NHL Players' Assn. agreed Friday to let them replace the salary of suspended defenseman Slava Voynov by using the long-term injury exception in the collective bargaining agreement.
The Kings will continue to pay Voynov, whose salary cap hit is $4.167 million. The Los Angeles County district attorney's office announced Thursday he had been charged with one felony count of corporal injury to spouse with great bodily injury in connection with an incident involving him and his wife, Marta Varlamova, on Oct. 19.
Voynov's suspension will continue indefinitely. "However, in light of the uncertain and potentially extended period of time that the legal process may entail, the NHL and NHLPA have agreed to permit the Kings to replace Mr. Voynov's salary and bonuses pursuant to the bona fide long-term injury exception under the terms of the NHL/NHLPA collective bargaining agreement," the league said in a statement.
Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi had been unhappy that his club was left in limbo during Voynov's suspension, a sanction the Kings have not disputed.
A club spokesman said placing Voynov on the long-term injury list allows the Kings to replace the average annual value of his contract — his cap hit — even though it would cause them to exceed the salary cap. But they still must comply with the 23-man active roster limit, and they're currently at 23. They would have to create a roster spot to use their new cap space.
Because of Voynov's suspension and various injuries to other players, the Kings played one game with only 17 skaters, one below the maximum, and another game with five defensemen instead of the usual six among their 18 skaters.