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Bettman says Voynov not eligible to play in World Cup


The Russians will need to find another blueliner.

Former Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov was named to Russia's World Cup roster last week, but NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said Monday that the Russian Hockey Federation has been told that Voynov's ineligible to participate because he's under NHL suspension.

Voynov spent two months in prison on domestic violence charges and voluntarily returned to Russia after being detained by immigration officials. He was suspended for the final 76 games of the season by the NHL and his contract was voided when he chose to leave the U.S. rather than face deportation.

Russian head coach Oleg Znarog said the decision isn't up to the NHL, because the World Cup is an international tournament, but Bettman came down with what appears to be the final word Monday.

After returning to Russia, Voynov played for St. Petersburg in the KHL, registering seven assists in 23 games, and two assists in 15 playoff games.

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