Yesterday, a rumor floated that the Rangers were one of five teams that contacted Slava Voynov in regards to a potential return to the NHL. If you recall, Voynov was banned by the NHL for beating his wife near death a few years ago. As usual, I have some thoughts.
2. Now to the impact for the Rangers, let’s not mince words here. I want nothing to do with Voynov, much like as a Yankee fan I wanted nothing to do with Aroldis Chapman. Character matters, even if it doesn’t show up on the score sheet as much as people think it does. If the Blueshirts are serious about the character and makeup of the team, the way they said they were during their announcement, then they will avoid Voynov at all costs.
3. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Voynov the player. He’d help, he’s good. But I still want nothing to do with him on the Rangers.
4. If the Rangers do go this route, it would be a PR nightmare for this team. It is a very difficult sell to have someone who almost beat his wife to death on the team and sell the character and leadership abilities.
5. To those wondering: I would want nothing to do with Patrick Kane either. Scumbag.
6. I happen to think this is just a feeler to see if the NHL would reinstate Voynov. The NHL, being tone deaf, would have no problem doing it. The owners have no morals, as we’ve seen already.
7. Off my soap box now. In terms of actual impact to the Rangers, I am unsure if Voynov would even fit. The Rangers have a bunch of options on RD with Kevin Shattenkirk, Neal Pionk, Tony DeAngelo, and Brendan Smith. It’s crowded already, even with Smith’s unclear future.
8. Despite the lack of a fit, I can see why the Rangers might want to do it, even if it’s already been shot down. He was on a team with the soon-to-be-a-Ranger Ilya Kovalchuk, uber goalie prospect Igor Shestyorkin, and newly acquired Yegor Rykov. The Russian connection is real, much like the post-lockout Czech Rangers. If the club doesn’t see Smith in their future, then a spot opens up as well.
9. With points 7 and 8 said, **back on my soapbox** just say no to Voynov.