Putting People First: Voynov, Hoffman, and the NHL’s Locker Room Culture Problem

The time between the end of the postseason and the beginning of offseason shenanigans is always a weird one, but this past week the hockey news cycle has taken a particularly grim turn with reports of two things I’d like to draw your attention to.

The first is the disgusting report from Elliotte Friedman that Slava Voynov is interested in returning to the NHL this season and that his interest has been reciprocated by some NHL teams. This report should be enough to make your blood boil: Voynov plead no contest to misdemeanor domestic violence charges and opted to go back to Russia rather than face potential deportation hearings in front of an immigration judge. The officer who responded to Voynov’s home described it as akin to a murder scene, and a social worker at the hospital that treated Voynov’s wife testified that he was told it wasn’t the first time. Still, Voynov has an expungement hearing set in California, that, if favorable to Voynov could clear the way for him to apply for a US work visa and return to the NHL.

The second bit of disquieting news to break in the hockey world this past week was the report that Erik Karlsson and his wife Melinda have applied for an order of protection against the fiancée of Karlsson’s teammate Mike Hoffman, Monika Caryk. The allegations here are bizarre and disturbing: the Karlssons submitted in their sworn statements to the court that Caryk has used social media to make 1000s of derogatory remarks towards them, including wishing both Melinda and her stillborn child dead, as well as hopes that someone would inflict career-ending injury upon Erik.

The Ottawa Citizen also learned that there is an ongoing criminal stalking investigation into the matter. Various partners of Karlsson’s Senators teammates came out in support of the Karlssons, and although there is the possibility that someone is using fake social media accounts to frame Caryk, based on other bits of evidence we know (which can be found in the report linked above) it seems unlikely. One way or another though, this has raised the question of whether Hoffman, whom the Senators are rumored to be hoping to trade, would fit in with his new team, or whether the mistrust sown by such toxic allegations would lead him to become a locker room pariah and ruin chemistry.

These two reports are disturbing enough in their own right, but their juxtaposition is potentially even more troubling and speaks volumes about the culture shift necessary within NHL locker rooms. The problem is this: Voynov returning to the NHL creates a massive PR issue for the league and whatever team signs him, while Caryk’s alleged harassment and behavior is an internal issue, the likes of which simply wouldn’t occur in the Voynov case. Allow me to explain.

An NHL GM decides he wants to sign Slava Voynov because he is talented, and does so knowing full well what happened in 2014. Somehow he rationalizes it to himself, and eventually passes that rationalization down on to his coach, and even if he doesn’t explain himself directly to any of the current players any coach with even the slightest inkling of how locker rooms work would feel it necessary to get out ahead of things and clear the air. The message will be clear: he’s your teammate, and that’s what matters. It doesn’t affect you or your loved ones, so why should you care?

Contrast this with the day Mike Hoffman arrives at his new rink. Questions abound about whether his fiancée will treat current teammates’ partners the way she treated Melinda Karlsson, why he didn’t say anything to Caryk, what really went down and so on. The speculation will be endless on the part of the media, the fans, and most importantly the players. The issue will inevitably ruin whatever bonding the coach and management have attempted to foster – any GM with a brain is going to stop himself before even picking up the phone to discuss a deal for Hoffman. The front office and coaching staff might try and anticipate issues before the arise, but in the backs of their minds players will be wondering, and that’s simply not a good thing for an NHL team’s on-ice performance.

But why shouldn’t Voynov’s off-ice issues affect on-ice performance? Are NHLers really less likely to let their mind wander to what kind of person their dealing with, whether they really can trust a guy like Voynov in the way they would Hoffman? I’d like to think that the answer is no, that my favorite players and even my least favorite players would refuse to play hockey with someone capable of brutalizing another human being like Voynov did, one he ostensibly loves nonetheless. I’d like to think that GMs would be so certain of the pushback that they’d get, so absolutely sure that it would cause irreparable damage to locker room chemistry and on-ice performance that they wouldn’t even consider it. Yet here we are – Friedman’s exact words on Voynov are that “there is quite a bit of interest”.

Because for whatever reason, domestic abuse is still so normalized and rationalized that unspeakable acts of harassment say more about a person than their capacity to commit horrific violence. Players might not even need to hear from their coaches or GMs to make excuses for Voynov; maybe they see it as a one time thing, maybe they figure he’s changed, maybe they think because he and his wife are still together that everything’s fine now, maybe they just won’t care. It’s all a symptom of our society’s tragically violent tendencies, and what little we can do is indirect and piecemeal. The best we can do is to is raise better children, be relentlessly questioning reporters, speak out as fans, and hope that one day locker rooms around the NHL are filled with players who have zero tolerance for domestic violence.

It’s possible that I’m being cynical, that the day has already come when players like Voynov can find no home in the National Hockey League. I fervently hope that I’m wrong, that not only the Henrik Lundqvists or Mats Zuccarellos of the world would stake their career on standing up to Slava Voynov’s sins, but that the guys we don’t think of when we think of character would too. I hope that everyone in hockey from the commissioner and ownership on down to the fans takes this week’s news as a moment to learn and grow, to come to the realization that brutal, dehumanizing behavior is brutal and dehumanizing no matter what, and that neither the targeted harassment of a player’s wife nor the vicious beating of another human being is acceptable anymore. In other words I hope that we all learn to put people first, to appreciate and guard life over ice hockey success and profit. It is, after all, just a game.

"Putting People First: Voynov, Hoffman, and the NHL's Locker Room Culture Problem", 4 out of 5 based on 25 ratings.

87 thoughts on “Putting People First: Voynov, Hoffman, and the NHL’s Locker Room Culture Problem

  • Jun 14, 2018 at 9:10 am

    Anyone who raises a hand against a women is absolute shit in my book. Unfortunately if they do it once, they’ll do it again, history has shown us that.

    In Hoffman’s case, who would want to play knowing his lady friend, and he would act this way to a friend, teammate, and human being this way?

    Bottom line, the only thing I’d do with both of these guys is flush them down the commode!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Jun 15, 2018 at 7:04 am

      The 3 wife beaters!!!!!!!! LOL….

  • Jun 14, 2018 at 9:10 am

    Some leagues put out unspoken messages regarding some players (see the NFL). If the NHL wants to continue gaining respect with its patrons, it needs to perform its own investigation and act accordingly.

    Either incident is deplorable, but let the league and justice departments perform their due diligence while the league whispers commentary to owners and GMs about how to keep incidents like this from deteriorating the NHL image.

    • Jun 14, 2018 at 11:20 am

      I’m not sure what the league can, or if the league should, do anything about the Hoffman situation. His fiancee is clearly disturbed. Should the league suspend Hoffman with the understanding that he can’t play again until he dumps his fiancee? Is that fair? I am pretty sure it’s not legal.

      As for Voyanov, according to Google, he’s still suspended indefinitely by the NHL. I am not sure that changes once (if?) he signs an NHL contract.

      • Jun 14, 2018 at 6:16 pm

        Chris A I agree it would not be fair to punish Mr. Hoffman for the actions of his fiancee, however she is HIS fiancee and no one elses! Got my drift? I do think it would be fair if no one wanted to room, practice or get on the ice with him during games. Maybe he might accidentally slip on a bar of soap in the shower, fall and hurt himself.
        Who knows whats fair?

  • Jun 14, 2018 at 9:15 am

    Happy 24th Cup Anniversary!! I know, I said it the previous thread, lol.

    Spot on Pat, my friend. There should be a “zero” tolerance rule for a few things. Like domestic issues and headshots during NHL play. It’s time we say “no” to people who commit heinous acts, on and off the ice.

    We should be a “forgiving” society but history, in general, shows us that 2nd chances turn into 3rd and 4th and… chances, where the person doesn’t learn, or worse, doesn’t care.

    The Hoffman thing is despicable. To wish an unborn child dead is inhuman and now you know why the Sens have been trying to trade him for over a year. These things get out and people know. Hoffman either needs to own up to it or get rid of that piece of trash that he’s with. Obviously she needs help.

    I have no use for Voynov for what he off the ice and what he did on the ice (deflect Nash’s shot over the crossbar in the SCF).

    • Jun 14, 2018 at 1:43 pm

      Didnt realize that it shares a date with potus 45 birthday.

      **ducks for cover**

  • Jun 14, 2018 at 9:34 am

    Unless Trump intervenes on behalf of Voynov, even with an expungement he’ll have little chance getting a US visa again.

    The Hoffman thing is just bonkers.

  • Jun 14, 2018 at 9:34 am

    wanted to share this with everyone– Tony- Richter 1994 can validate this on my be-half if people jump down on my for making anything up here. A good friend of mine I train with was a strength conditioning coach in the NHL, AHL and in the NCAA, not joking- Back in January of this year, we were working out and he was speaking to me about his friend ship with GT- Craig Anderson of the Sens. All of a sudden Craig is texting my friend and telling him how he has never seen a more dysfunctional locker room at any level in his career. Nobody from Owner all the way to the coach were in sync. He said when the GM walked into the locker room, a few of the players would blast music just so they would not have to hear the GM speak. Last year in OTT things were really bad and now it is all coming out…..

    • Jun 14, 2018 at 9:37 am

      100% true, I can confirm for my friend geno.

      • Jun 14, 2018 at 9:50 am

        It is even a bigger problem if the players think it is a bad lockeroom and the GM and Coach doesn’t realize it!

        • Jun 14, 2018 at 9:53 am

          They know, that’s why they have been trying to trade Hoffman for a year now.

          I think the Sens may just blow it up and start over.

          • Jun 14, 2018 at 12:18 pm

            … and by waiting they just cost themselves some value.

    • Jun 14, 2018 at 1:55 pm

      Why the GM is going into the locker room might be one of the reasons the whole place is a train wreck.

      The GM needs to be watching the team from 30,000 feet, not getting into the trenches. Asides from camp & exhibitions, he shouldn’t really be watching the team live unless things are trending poorly.

      When John McMullen owned the Devils, the only time the players saw him in season was at the Christmas party or a charity event.

  • Jun 14, 2018 at 10:01 am

    Put Voynov in a big room along with every NHLer’s wife and girlfriend all armed with weapons.

    If he comes out, sure he can play.

    Hoffman is dirt, he had to know something about this. Cancel his ticket to ride as well.

  • Jun 14, 2018 at 10:18 am

    You bring up some good points. One thing though is where was the management in both of these situations? The Sens had no idea this was going on? Ex players knew this was going on. What did they do? Wait for a restraining order?The Kings may not have had as much information about what was going on with Voynov, but they had to have an idea. And what did they do? The league can also get stricter and say no.

    Also keep in mind Voynov was signed instantly in the KHL and allowed to play in the olympics. So international hockey not taking this to seriously either.

    • Jun 14, 2018 at 10:42 am

      That’s part of the problem. There’s no way management didn’t know about this, for both Voynov and Hoffman. They let it go.

      • Jun 14, 2018 at 12:21 pm

        Actually it’s pretty tough for management to know what’s going on behind the close doors of a marriage — I mean it’s possible they had an inkling, but I wouldn’t assume as much. With regard to the Sens on the other hand, that situation seemed to have been more “public”.

        • Jun 14, 2018 at 1:47 pm

          Players talk about how they like playing in places like NYC because they’re invisible to the general populace, but even then, the wives and girlfriends are one big clique unless they have a family. Everybody knows everybody. Can be a blessing or a curse.

          • Jun 14, 2018 at 4:05 pm

            … and people are capable of hiding all sorts of bad behavior behind closed doors. Battered women are hardly an exception, in fact they are more like the rule. They feel culpable, they feel ashamed, etc. Of course one of the gf’s might have suspected or even known, but I was talking about management specifically.

            • Jun 15, 2018 at 5:54 pm

              Next time you meet a woman who doesn’t like to gossip, let me know so I can put a ring on her finger.

    • Jun 14, 2018 at 2:51 pm

      Yeah it feels like the NHL is no different from the other leagues. Just look at how they handle concussions and Carcillo’ s latest take on it.

      At the end of the day the Rangers were linked to Voynov at one point and there’s nothing we can really do about that. Nobody would stop watching games or not look at the scores later on. This is how they get us, force feed everyone at all times. We all lie to ourselfs about not walking or talking among these kind of people who make death threats and abuse women. My sister in law has a brother who is working as a investigator in Los Angeles and my grandfather has worked at the United Nations. They have their fair share of stories that happen under the public’s noses.

      Men don’t like women who will ruin they’re relationships in the future. I could see how Voynov would need to keep his head down and earn his spot to be apart of the team. On the other hand if Hoffman were to get traded here than everyone is on edge and giving instructions to their wives or gfs to not mingle with his gf and that’s how a mess can start in the locker room. Imo Hoff is just as much as a coward as Voynov. He can’t handle his own sh#t and was exposed as a enemy to his teammates. It sounded like he would score on his own net if his women told him too. Now he’s in a situation where people have to make up decisions on behalf of his love life.

      • Jun 14, 2018 at 4:59 pm

        Every Russian is linked to the Rangers, invariably by their agents who still think the organization is a bunch of soft touches.

  • Jun 14, 2018 at 10:51 am

    I have 6 older sisters and my mom made sure me and my other 2 brothers sole job was to protect them no matter what. But I know some woman are afraid to report these cowards and their acts. I had 1 sister who hid it from us for years until one day she finally told us.
    The effects on a woman can last a life time. It took us years to build my sisters self esteem and make her a wonderful sister once again. Men like that should be given to the brothers of the woman they abuse so they can take care of them!
    I’m a law abiding citizen but not when it comes to a man hitting a woman!
    No man who plays a professional sport and is shown to be a woman or child abuser should EVER be allowed to play in any sport EVER!!

  • Jun 14, 2018 at 10:54 am

    I’m not condoning any of these actions. But at what point is a mistake/sin from the past just that, in the past? In Voynov’s case, what if he really did change in earnest? I know repeat offenses are a statistical likelihood, but sometimes people really do change. What if he went to therapy? What if he’s doing everything he can to keep his emotions in check? What if he hasn’t reoffended? I’m not saying any of this is true, but I do think that these kind of issues need to be handled on a case by case basis. I don’t think we should be making blanket statements like “if you’ve ever committed domestic violence, you should be banned for life.” For some, that should absolutely be the case. But not for everybody.

    In terms of Hoffman, who knows what he knew when this was going on. It’s totally possible he was in the dark for this. If that’s the case, he’s in a really difficult position where someone he loves did something awful, but that’s still his fiance. It’s not so easy to just cut loose someone you care about that much.

    • Jun 14, 2018 at 12:24 pm

      Agreed for the most part. Re: Hoffman I would really like to know a lot more about the situation before passing judgment on him.

    • Jun 14, 2018 at 1:50 pm

      Would you be willing to extend this softer take to someone who beat the hell out of your sister a few years back, but hasn’t since then? You want him to have the privilege of getting back what he lost as a result of his actions?

    • Jun 14, 2018 at 3:01 pm

      Dude even the worst fictional character Tony Soprano never had that plot line of hitting his wife.

      There’ s a 50% chance or higher that Hoffman was aware of this. If it was a crazy ex story than that would be a different story but this girl shares the same bedroom and bathroom as him.

      • Jun 14, 2018 at 4:07 pm

        You mean whacking guys is better than someone who hits their wife? I mean both are despicable acts, but I can’t subscribe to some moral equivalency here. What shall we say, Tony S was a good guy. He never beat his wife and he loved nature?

    • Jun 14, 2018 at 9:50 pm

      Well said Devil’s Advocate – we fall into the same sin of hypocrisy and self-righteousness if everyone follows the herd, gets a lynch mob and forgets to stop and look case by case of the aftermath and the actions they took to remedy themselves. If we excommunicate for life – without due process or review – we might as well say good bye to half the players in men’s and women’s sports world-wide.

  • Jun 14, 2018 at 10:57 am

    Classy Organizations do not sign or trade for classless individuals.

    • Jun 14, 2018 at 9:53 pm

      Really? I would agree wholeheartedly except for one small detail – what does that mean nowadays?

  • Jun 14, 2018 at 11:00 am

    I agree that if facts have proven that a man has abused a woman then there has to be repercussions but this also applies to women as well.

    I also know people lie, so I see a story like this I don’t jump on the bandwagon.

    Everyone deserves a 2nd chance who have earned the right for a 2nd chance and that earning shouldn’t be easy yet it should be attainable.

    In this day and age perception has been tainted so we need new definitions for things like domestic violence.

    I said it once before on a different thread that if a woman pulled a knife on me I would knock her out. I stand by that. Circumstance and the story that leads to an incident has a lot to do with actions. If I had a cheating girlfriend I walk away, If I have a verbally abusive girlfriend I walk away,

    To go make blanket statements is also an error for those who decide to go and judge. As always the truth is in the middle of the spectrum.

    Vyonov may or may not have done what he did and courts decided he did, One error does not define a human being. Trust me everyone has a breaking point to make a bad decision. If he decided to correct his error and make a difference because of his mistake then why shouldn’t he play again, now if he continued in the path of being abusive then yeah ban him.

    What I do know is this, it is not for us to decide on that. We are not Judge, Jury and Executioner.

    Last point is the 3 R’s Resistance, Resentment and Revenge…awful patterns that people place into action when something traumatic happens. If you can solve the issue in Resistance mode then life is good but the second you promote it to Resentment and only then will bad things come your way.

    These kind of stories have no place in the media because we are not the Judge, Jury and Executioner. Effected parties and only they need to be the ones involved. Airing dirty laundry was a no no in the Marine Corps for a reason. 99% of the time the Leaders made the proper assessments and handled the problem. Had I not done the same thing a slew of fine Marines I could’ve wrote up on charges and ruined their lives for one mistake, I decided not to take the easy way out, yeah I made their lives hell for a month or so but they live good healthy lives now with famalies…that I keep in touch with via facebook.
    When I handled these Marines I gave up my weekends to do the EMI’s to supervise them and I would do it again 100% of the time. The result was WELL worth it. Oh yeah, I did take my blouse of a couple of times too and meet behind the shed as they say.

    • Jun 14, 2018 at 11:27 am

      “I also know people lie, so I see a story like this I don’t jump on the bandwagon.”

      How the f@%k much more evidence do you need than what came out in the Voynov case? And why the hell should he be granted some level of privacy over any other criminal? Someone robs a bank, you gonna contend it shouldn’t be in the paper? I’ll bet you watched the Ray Rice video and STILL came up with some sort of “Well, what did she SAY to him, though?” angle. Sorry it pains you so, buddy, but the world is changing when it comes to these things, and it is fully for the better.

      • Jun 14, 2018 at 11:46 am

        Eglestein….did you read the rest?

        I said in his case court of law did find him guilty, again just to be clear, I don’t know that, so I will only say may or may not have.

        Quite simple for me this “Vyonov” is just a story so I have no energy on it. It doesn’t define my life nor my values. This story is no different than say a Combat Veteran decides to play hockey to combat PTSD. Bur the Combat Veteran story is closer to home to me than what Vyonov did or Weinstein did. I don’t need to know everything.

        Nice click and bait though bro.

        • Jun 14, 2018 at 12:08 pm

          I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt that you didn’t actually know Voyanov was found guilty, spent two months in jail, and was deported.

          And now that I’ve given you the benefit of the doubt, I’ll give you some advice. Next time you want to present an unpopular opinion, do some research before spouting your nonsense. It will save you a lot of grief in the future.

          Finally, when you’re wrong, don’t be a child and say it doesn’t matter. It clearly does matter to you because you have written endless comments here about this story on multiple occasions.

          • Jun 14, 2018 at 12:26 pm

            You missed the whole point too Chris A

            Be a child? Explain,,,Wrong about what?

            You know what matters to me? The hypocrisy of the liberal view point. Interesting how last night I experienced this, I was watching TV on HBO and a liberal black man was talking about issues in medicine and studies concerning women. I referred to his race because out of no where he says…it’s like me going to a white barber shop. Man I have never walked into a barbershop thinking it had race attached to it.
            Then he states on a rant about how women were different body wise. I agreed with all he said but where is that sentiment when it came to allowing women in the Marine Corps Infantry? I was in the Infantry and no I don’t want women in there.

            Now to my point, these stories do not need to be published, we are not judge jury and executioner. Every story has a middle ground and finally a mistake and how you deal with it matters not the mistake.

            • Jun 14, 2018 at 12:48 pm

              Dude, you said “Quite simple for me this ‘Vyonov’ is just a story so I have no energy on it. It doesn’t define my life nor my values.” Yet, you wrote a ton of comments on this site on this very subject, and you’ve done it on multiple occasions. That is you being disingenuous. You clearly care enough to share your opinion. What I felt was childish, was that as soon as you met resistance to your opinion you said this ultimately wasn’t important.

              Stories are printed because the editor deemed there is enough interest to generate sales and or clicks. If you aren’t interested in a story, you can always close your browser window/change the channel/turn the page. The world doesn’t just revolve around you or your viewpoints.

              And yeah every story has a middle ground. But I am sure there are plenty of things you feel strongly about that you would instantly dismiss any opposing viewpoint. Being that way doesn’t make one unreasonable or stubborn. One not admitting that they are they that way makes one unreasonable or stubborn.

              • Jun 14, 2018 at 1:03 pm

                My comments were rebuttals to people’s opinion and I have always stated “In my opinion” never have I said something as gospel. Many on here don’t do that and state as if their opinion is facts.

                My opinion is an opinion, not right or wrong. What is right to me will be wrong to someone else. I don’t mind opinion, where I will push back is if you try to make your opinion a law and now I have to follow it or go to jail.

                Rather simple philosophy in my opinion.

            • Jun 14, 2018 at 3:59 pm

              …it’s like me going to a white barber shop. Man I have never walked into a barbershop thinking it had race attached to it.

              I am not sure if you understood this or not. I apologize if the explanation is unnecessary and so will be perceived as condescending.

              It isn’t about racism. Black men have different hair and a barber unfamiliar with it is not likely to know how to cut it. And studies about health and disease which focus exclusively on men will simply not serve as a guide to treating women.

              Yes, there are many who simply ignore the difference between men and women when it comes to military service. And you are right to be inflamed by such people. But trust me, there are many women that you, if tolerant, would rather have by your side on the battlefield than some men, sadly myself included.

              I think that women in the military is a place where a middle ground is needed and I think that a middle ground has been what the government has been aiming for. Whether they are making appropriate decisions, I do not know.

        • Jun 14, 2018 at 12:53 pm

          Read the whole thing, although you’d think by now perhaps I’d be smarter than to read comments from you regarding social matters, and react. Guess that’s on me.

          You’ve been spouting this nonsense since conversations arose about the topic in relation to hockey players, and everything relates to your military service in the past somehow, for some reason. Sorry, guy, but that matters not one iota in these public arenas, and you do not have to look hard at all to find instances where the military has been caught involved in covering up heinous conduct violations. You’re advocating for cover-ups, no matter how you try to frame it.

          When given the chance, you are always quite quick to take a downcast-view on “blouses” – yes, your use of terms like that say a ton, as well – and your commentary on such matters always frankly just plainly reeks of a majorly sexist world view. You’re always going to lamely go back to your infantryman claim as some sort of shining beacon of reason; women should always be in the place you want them to be in is what you’re saying to me.

          It’s your prerogative to spew this garbage, same as it is mine to call you on it. Every story does not have a middle ground, and your apologist approach to domestic abusers and inherent instinct to cast doubt on victims as Step One of your philosophy is, frankly, disgusting. I find it absolutely ludicrous that you think domestic abuse is nothing more than something for the two parties involved to settle among themselves quietly. That’s how women end up getting killed, and some are afraid to even try to get help knowing that, unfortunately, there are a whole lot of men out there like you who won’t take a black eye as sufficient evidence and demand some higher burden of proof.

          • Jun 14, 2018 at 1:05 pm

            Thanks for making my point in your own words

            read what you wrote, that is how I feel about your opinions

            Thanks….well done

            • Jun 14, 2018 at 1:09 pm

              What you should thank me for is being nice, because believe it or not, that was about as nice as I can be in addressing domestic abuse deniers who are willing to give more benefit of the doubt to the abusers than to the victims. Unbelievable.

              • Jun 14, 2018 at 1:31 pm


                I give the benefit of the doubt to facts, Not the person, victim or predator. Facts then give me the data on how I will respond not hear say

                Have I ever said there are no victims of domestic abuse? Again you state something I didn’t say.

                yup…your bias speaks not your rationale. You state things you YOU believe in that YOU think I said not what I actually said

              • Jun 14, 2018 at 3:45 pm

                “I give the benefit of the doubt to facts,”

                An easy platitude which simply isn’t true. [In defense of you, I could offer that criticism to most people, perhaps even myself.] Time and again, despite acknowledging that Voynov was found guilty, you use phrases like “if he did it”. You talk about not being judge, jury and executioner without according any respect to the actual judge, jury and executioner.

                The discussion here has nothing to do with facts. The discussion is about the answer to a very simple question, “How serious an offense is domestic abuse?” American society has evolved from a world a century ago when the offense was trivial to one today where it is a major wrong. The sentiment here is in keeping with the new standards. You believe that the evolution has gone much too far, intolerably so.

                Sometimes trends do go too far and you are entitled to your opinion, especially if it does not entail actually beating women. BUT, acknowledge that this is not about facts and not about second chances, but rather that what he did offends you less than it offends me (which doesn’t in and of itself make me superior to you).

            • Jun 14, 2018 at 1:13 pm

              To your final point Eglestein

              again you are saying things you think I said and not what I said

              Amazing to me how you want to read what I said

              Women in the Infantry…did you read the whole thing? Yeah I can talk that as I was one if you haven’t been one then you can’t no matter your political view or your views on what YOU think is equal rights. You have no say so in this particular matter.
              Being a champion for women’s rights does not make you an expert on qualifications to be in the Infantry. Do you understand this concept?

              I have never hit a woman in my life, now get this I will not judge stories. It’s not for me to do. What Vyonov did or didn’t do is not the key point. Saying he did what you are saying he did, the real story is how did he handle and learn from it to make a difference.

              I got news for you, mistakes and failures are the greatest teachers in this world

              • Jun 14, 2018 at 1:37 pm

                Why do you think “Did you read…” is some sort of amazing retort? Yes, I read it. You’ve gone on about it before. You use it as a crutch to support your general sexism. You are trapped in some sort of demented realm where the military rules/procedures of decades past should dictate social/legal rules/procedures outside of the military today.

                Nobody said you ever hit a woman. I’m saying you seem awful quick to try and defend/dismiss guys who do, and you want them protected by the stories not coming out. I’m saying I have no respect for your opinion on these matters, and I sure as hell would not want you in any position in society that has any say on how domestic abuse is handled.

                Still being nice, by the way.

              • Jun 14, 2018 at 5:21 pm

                “Women in the Infantry…did you read the whole thing? Yeah I can talk that as I was one if you haven’t been one then you can’t no matter your political view or your views on what YOU think is equal rights. You have no say so in this particular matter.”

                One of the things that made this a great country was the idea that the military is under civilian control and not the other way around. Putting women in the military is problematic and I think it is critical to get input from people with a military perspective before doing so, that people blend reality with ideals before making half-cocked decisions. And I won’t guarantee that people have not made serious errors on this very subject.

                But in the final analysis, in the America I grew up in, figuratively speaking, the decision was Egelstein’s to make and not yours.

                On this subject, you likely know much more than I do. However, the truth is that while you know much I do not, I also know much you do not. The biggest difference between us is that I appreciate the value of your knowledge and you are oblivious to the value of mine.

    • Jun 14, 2018 at 11:48 am

      What a surprise, the site’s resident caveman supports Voynov. Utterly disgusting, totally unsurprising.

      • Jun 14, 2018 at 11:57 am

        Mancun….nice try…I did not say that…now what I did say, there are 2 stories…people lie and I don’t judge. I did not say what you insinuated what I said.

        There you go…disgusting eh…I know if I said that I would get banned..

        Caveman is you who can never discuss without putting someone down. That’s your MO. You initiate insults every single time as superiority complex….what are you, 5’3″ buck one ten? I am asking because I think you have the little man complex

        • Jun 14, 2018 at 1:40 pm

          Man, I must be like, what, 3’7″ and 68 lbs. then, by this rationale, Leather? Or my insults different because instead of using one word to say what you are, I use dozens?

          • Jun 14, 2018 at 1:59 pm

            Eglestein you talk/debate…you express your view without getting insulting

            I would love to have this conversation with you face to face or over the phone.

            I like the fact that you are passionate about your point of view…that’s a good thing

            I will say that you don’t read my whole posts because you do go on tangents that have no relevance or what I actually said….

            Bring it….I’ll debate with you any time

    • Jun 14, 2018 at 12:24 pm

      We have millions of people who want to live in this country. And IIRC, it is people like you working the hardest to keep them out. Yes, people deserve second chances in many cases, but how on earth do you justify giving one guy a chance and turning so many – and THEN giving same guy a second chance at this prize so many have missed out on because they were unlucky when he is proved to have done something really despicable.

      I agree with the sentiment behind your military decisions. This next passage concerns politics but is not political IMO. George W Bush served in the National Guard. At a certain point, when he had several months left to serve, he really had done all that was expected of him – learned a skill that he might use in the future if needed, didn’t have time to really acquire another, had no real purpose. He stopped showing up at that point and I imagine (not fully knowing the rules) that he could have been court-martialed for being AWOL. And I imagine somebody like you looked at him (exactly as they looked at other similar cases where the guy did not have a connected family) and said “Am I going to destroy the life of a guy who chose to serve his country for this?” And the rightful answer was no.

      And I feel the same way about nitpicking the peccadilloes of immigrants, which indeed these hockey players are.

      BUT some people do get court-martialed. There are bad things that are not and should not be overlooked. There are things worth “ruining” someone’s life over. What Voynov did is one of those things.

      • Jun 14, 2018 at 12:32 pm

        People like me who want to keep people out?

        No, people like me want legal immigration, not illegal immigration.

        People like me …ok then

        There are a few unforgivable things that can occur that need to be dealt with harshly, falling asleep on watch….AWOL, Desertion, Cowardice, luckily I never had to deal with those infactions.

        I am not a fan of Bush and Cheney either,,,just FYI

        • Jun 14, 2018 at 3:25 pm

          Almost everyone wants legal and not illegal immigration. The issue are what the rules should be and how to deal with those unfairly in their opinion kept out.

          I was neither applauding or criticizing Bush, nor assuming you were a fan. Just pointing out minor infractions are frequently forgivable. But major infractions are different.

          Now cowardice is damn inconvenient for your unit. But seriously, do you really think that morally cowardice rises to the level of wife beating?

    • Jun 14, 2018 at 12:50 pm

      You are right Mr.Leatherneck. People will read what they want to read. People will take things out of context. Scoffers will scoff and belittle others who don’t think like them.
      I have read that Hoffman, believes his Fiancee was hacked and is willing to do whatever is needed to get to the bottom of this.
      The educated will not need to wait for the investigation, they have the answer already. Scoffers will scoff. Socialists know the answer already.

      • Jun 14, 2018 at 1:06 pm

        If your account has been hacked, you report it, it gets stopped. It does not keep going on for 1,000s of messages over weeks/months. I had my FB account cloned. I reported it. The cloned page was terminated within hours. I’ve had my Yahoo account hacked and spam messages sent. Changed password. No more spam messages sent. Etc.

        Since you’re such a stickler for critical thinking and pertinent details, I would have assumed you’d considered these things!

        • Jun 14, 2018 at 2:04 pm

          I am no longer an IT specialist. I do have a Twitter account I do not us, so I don’t know, anything is possible but I am willing to wait and find out.

    • Jun 14, 2018 at 3:10 pm

      Impossible when you don’t know about Voynov’s pressure points. Unless if he gave up drinking which is always a tell tale sign of someone fixing up their anger management. Him being alone with a women + drinking at night = anything bad can happen. Maybe his mom use to hold his hand on a lit stove so he resents all women or his dad was cut from the same cloth.

  • Jun 14, 2018 at 11:43 am

    There’s really no need for any Man to hit a Woman. Especially a man who’s a trained athlete. I have no respect for such a so called man. Walk away period. Hoffman well he sure can pick them. He knew but why didn’t he put a stop to it.? I remember several weeks ago people were saying how different NHL players are. They are not because there’s asshole abusers and sick puppies in all sports. Hockey is no different. It’s a human thing..

  • Jun 14, 2018 at 11:51 am

    So just because Robert DiNero says F Trump that I should consider saying that and believe that? So because he is a celebrity it’s gospel?

    Anthony Bourdain comits suicide and for a whole day it was his day, YET 22 a day, where are their stories?

    Celebrities and athletes are given way too much prominence.

    • Jun 14, 2018 at 11:57 am

      Your right one was given the presidency.
      America first a old Klan saying. I leave it there.

      • Jun 14, 2018 at 2:33 pm

        That was an intelligent response there Harlem, not.

        • Jun 14, 2018 at 2:39 pm

          Neither of Harlem’s lines is inaccurate. Donald Trump has long been a celebrity; well before his days hosting reality TV shows, in fact. He even had a cameo in one of the Home Alone movies, has done commercials for Pizza Hut, etc. Long before he was a “politician”.

          America First is well-known as a white nationalist slogan of yesteryear. That is the phrase’s origin.

          Is there perhaps a different reason than factual accuracy that explains why you don’t think it was an intelligent response?

          • Jun 14, 2018 at 6:00 pm

            Two thumbs down, zero counterpoints. LOL. I suppose reciting well-known aspects of history is now fake news, too?

        • Jun 14, 2018 at 5:22 pm


  • Jun 14, 2018 at 11:52 am

    No Man such ever hit a Woman especially a trained NHL player. Walk away divorce or seperate. Hoffman knew at some point and such have put a stop to it. What kind of guy is he? I remember several weeks ago people were saying how dirrent NHL players are. They are not any different then the next league or sport. Asshole’s,abusers or sick puppies come in all sports. It’s a human thing.

  • Jun 14, 2018 at 12:45 pm

    So much “love” on this site sometimes. This is a subject that mirrors politics. There is truth and supposition going on here. Not sure we can be the judge of what is and is not true.

    What we can say is that a classy team like the NYR should never engage with a player who even has suspected poor morals. End of story.

    • Jun 14, 2018 at 4:11 pm

      Absolutely, we should and will stay away … I’m confident of that. JG wants character players.

      Besides, it would make the Garden faithful that chant beat your wife Potvin sound like the ultimate hypocrites.

  • Jun 14, 2018 at 2:29 pm

    Brilliant column, no need for an additional comment.

  • Jun 14, 2018 at 3:25 pm

    I want to take a slightly different spin on this here, and go with the “hockey is a business” route and see what everyone thinks.

    No matter which locker room these two guys end up in, they will not be liked and/or trusted by teammates and coaching staff. Simple as that, no reasonable human being would enjoy working with people who are capable of things like these two guys have done (I’d argue Voynov is significantly worse since he actually was the main do-er, but Hoffman is a dick too).

    That being said, everybody is so quick to argue “Hockey is a business” when it behooves them to support an argument/transaction/etc., and in this case it does not. There may be 29 owners/GMs who say “hell no, that’s not how I run this team” to both of these guys, but there may be 2 that say the risk and known douchebaggery they are about to hire is worth it, to improve their team. This is no different than any other business in the real world outside of sports. If the guys in charge say “this is the way we are going to run this business”, then so be it. At the end of the day, players are employees, and employees do as their business leaders force them (right or wrong).

    Disclaimer – I really hope Voynov is not allowed back, that guy sucks for what he’s done. BUT the main point i’m trying to make here is, if he is, and someone wants him, that’s how they choose to run their business. There’s plenty of scummy businesses out there, I don’t believe NHL franchises are immune.

  • Jun 14, 2018 at 4:23 pm

    For discussion’s sake I’m going to post a slightly different take on this. Generally speaking, people love to use the “hockey is a business” mentality when it helps them justify a trade of a favorite player, or a move they may not be a fan of.

    Let’s ignore Voynov and Hoffman’s unique situations, I’d like to state that I don’t think Voynov should ever step foot in the United States again, nonetheless as a professional athlete, and Hoffman I don’t know enough about the situation. Let’s think about this purely from a “bad person being hired to work with you.”

    This happens every single day, 99.99% of companies don’t want felons, etc. working for them. But there’s always a company that takes them. Employees may not like it, but leadership decided that’s what they’re doing. In this case, why is it any different. 30/31 teams will stay away from problem children like Voynov/Hoffman, but that 1 team’s Owner/GM may say, they’re worth the risk/bad press. That’s their business, they own it, they run it. If they want to do it this way, that’s their prerogative. The players and coaching staff, are employees. If they like their job, suck it up.

    Most people who read this far would probably choose to not work with many of their colleagues for various reasons, yet we all do. Why should the “the NHL is a business” mentality not apply to this situation too?

    • Jun 14, 2018 at 5:01 pm

      Because the NHL is a business, not the Rangers is a business. If Bunny’s Burger Ranch hires former concentration camp guards, it doesn’t hurt McDonalds, might even help. But decisions made by individual franchises reflect on the sport as a whole.

      I’m also ignoring the specific situations, just pointing out that the business model is different.

      • Jun 14, 2018 at 5:23 pm

        While I don’t disagree with you, I’d like to give you a different real world, recent, example.

        One Starbucks manager in Philadelphia made a bad decision not allowing two black men to use their restroom. That reflected poorly on the entire brand. That’s probably a closer example to the way you see a franchise “hiring” a Voynov, perhaps?

        I guess my rationale was more from the players perspective, not league/fan perception. More of a, having a Voynov in the locker room, and locker room cancers in general. And the idea that you’re not always going to like your “coworkers” (teammates).

        To your point, if Mickey D’s hires a bunch of neo-nazi’s, I’ll just stop going there. It’s an elastic product to me. The Rangers are not. I’ve loved them since the day I was born. If the Rangers signed a bunch of neo-nazi’s, while I would stop supporting them, there’d be a void in my life, I couldn’t just become a Sharks fan overnight, you know? So from a fan perspective, I definitely agree with you. From a teammate perspective, maybe not so much.

        • Jun 14, 2018 at 5:56 pm

          There are elastic Ranger fans and elastic hockey fans even though one will find few on this forum.

          As to not liking coworkers, well there are different stages of dislike. I might point out a Scotty Bowman (who knew something about winning hockey) quote, “I don’t care whether my players like me or not; I care whether they like each other.”

          I may be wrong but I think that Alex Ovechkin did not just want to win the Cup. I think he really wanted Backstrom to win the Cup, Holtby to win the Cup, and on and on. And I think that provided even more motivation for him and his teammates.

        • Jun 15, 2018 at 12:23 am

          The bad decision was the manager calling the police.

  • Jun 14, 2018 at 7:18 pm

    Wait are we all talking about the same league that let Todd Bertuzzi back into the league after only a 10 game suspension? Is it the same league that has no active drug testing? Is this the same league that allows bare knuckle fighting without consent which for those who might be confused is considered assault by any first world country?

    I personally think the rangers should sign slava and trade for hoffman…I mean we are going to pick the best talent that is available at the draft regardless of character why not grab the best free agents?

    And please women should get beaten all day everyday, I don’t even know how they got the right to vote …..let alone drive. Female circumcision should be applied to all women in this country.

    THis is a hockey blog for the New York Rangers ….drama and politics are not needed. We have a hard enough time communicating with each other as it is.

    Slava should be allowed to play if he has proven to be a reformed man. People make mistakes. No one is perfect. But he shouldn’t be considered for the highest profile team in the NHL. It is bad for business. And Hoffman is a cancer if it is true and there is no way anyone takes him at this point. So all of this is mute. Just a drama article to spurr repeat views.

    Why not talk about possible Free agent signings aside from Taveras. Maybe we need a 4th line center from that pool? Most mock drafts have montreal going off the board and philly is lookin to trade one of their 2 first round picks. Tons of useful storylines out there.

    Horrible piece. And I hope I never see this crap again.

  • Jun 14, 2018 at 7:20 pm

    I have read through the comments and several things here:

    #1) The mainstream media is crap. They stopped being a credible source of information a very long time ago. They make nonsense up as they go along, without corroborating any facts, and if it’s wrong? So what, just move on.

    #2) I saw the exchanges with Leather. I’m not speaking for him but it did appear like he was saying that we never know the full facts of anything based on media reports or even what is said by the people involved. That being said, conviction of domestic violence is a crime that is more than just a “mistake” that should be forgiven easily. I would suspect that there were other “incidences” that took place prior to the one that got Voynov convicted. He should never step foot in the NHL ever again. He’s toxic.

    #3) I am really sick and tired of sports leagues “ignoring” the crap that goes on in their respective leagues. A “good” player gets the benefit of a lot of tolerance while “not good” players are “made example of.” I have to tell you that I am not the extreme overall sports fan that I used to be because it’s just not as much fun anymore. But I still love my Rangers and I am as passionate about them as ever.

    #4) Hoffman has been shopped for over a year, so the Sens knew what was going on. That’s the way to handle it? Just trade the player? The woman is a societal menace so this should have been dealt with a long time ago. Now we hear all these other former Sens’ players’ wives/significant others saying that they are not surprised by this. Just plain scary.

    • Jun 15, 2018 at 12:13 pm

      The majority of the “so-called” mainstream media are just fine. I would worry more about the non-mainstream media where the majority just make crap up.

  • Jun 14, 2018 at 8:07 pm

    On a lighter note, I saw The Hockey Writers propose the following trade:

    Lucic and the 10th overall pick for Vesey and a 2nd rounder. Lucic had 10 goals and 34 pts last year and make $6M per through 22-23.

    Ah, no.

    • Jun 14, 2018 at 9:10 pm

      I actually like that trade, not because of Lucic but pick #10. Now this is a bad contract pick up that’s a win win. This is far better than the Karlsson and Ryan proposals

      • Jun 15, 2018 at 6:26 am

        Too mnay years on Lucic’s contract. 2 years, ok, but not 5.

    • Jun 15, 2018 at 2:13 am

      I was hoping Vesey would be playing a little better then he is and seems to be going. #10…. Hmmmmm

      As for all the hoopla in this post, “Can’t we all just get along”

      cheers, LGR!!!

      • Jun 15, 2018 at 6:27 am

        I think the Rangers want to see what Vesey does under this coach.

    • Jun 15, 2018 at 3:53 am

      Vesey and Lucic as players are basically the same style of player. It comes down to do you pay that contract for Lucic for the 10th overall pick? I don’t but you never know based on what we paid for the 7th overall pick just a year ago. 6 Million for 5 more years for a LW that averages 50 points a year. And we have Krieder, Buch, and Vesey on the LW ….I don’t see it. Vesey is not going to be a 50 point player…atleast based on what he has shown so far. But 5 years of 6 million is just tough to swallow. But what makes it tough to me is the 10th overall pick. What is that value?

      • Jun 15, 2018 at 6:29 am

        I think it comes down to too many years left on Lucic’s contract, especially if his game might be trending downwards.

        Vesey could score 20 goals at a third of the cap hit.

  • Jun 15, 2018 at 8:51 am

    I understand this won’t be a popular opinion, but I don’t see how the Hoffman situation is that bad. Hoffman did nothing wrong. And, even in the case of his fiancé, it could just be a bad relationship between her and another woman. If its true that Karlsson’s wife was taking drugs and drinking, as Hoffman’s fiancé states, then the situation suddenly doesn’t look as bad. Hoffman would be an awesome addition to this team as a scoring threat, and I really hope the Ranger front office makes a play for him. With the controversy, he could be had for a seriously one-sided trade.

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