The NHL Didn't do the Best They Could in Adding a Season to Slava Voynov's Suspension for Domestic Violence, But They Did Far Better Than Expected
Look, I get it. No one not named Slava Voynov ever wants to see someone who ruthlessly beat his wife back on NHL ice. Only being guaranteed of his disgraced absence for one more year during a period of heightened sensitivity and social awareness towards women makes more than most, including myself, feel uneasy. If the league's zero tolerance policy for such egregious acts against members of a demographic with which they are currently trying to extend their reach was exactly that then we wouldn't have to worry about spending the next season prepping ourselves for the moral dilemma of consuming a product potentially tainted by the participation of a loathsome piece of human garbage. For that reason, this suspension isn't the best outcome.
That being said, while piling on the NHL for being run like complete crap is one of my favorite hobbies, this suspension isn't nearly as bad as it could be...which makes it pretty damn good given how low the NHL has set the bar. For better or worse, we live in a land of second chances and players' associations, so it was almost inevitable that the fate of Slava Voynov's future was going to eventually be put in the ethically compromised hands of those that will have every opportunity to deny him gainful employment in the NHL for eternity. When all said and done that exchange in responsibility will have taken five full years, a period of time that is entirely unprecedented amongst other professional sports' leagues that have dealt with similarly vile circumstances, to come to fruition.
Therefore, any criticism I might feel inclined to direct towards a league that's relatively new to this moral authority business would really just be a projection of my future lack of faith in the owners and GM's operating in it. If the team builders do something as simple as view a 30-year old defenseman who has been out of the league for half a decade after taking domestic violence to a whole new level as not worth the dumping of every ounce of their organizational integrity into the sewer then his reinstatement will never even an issue. Truth be told, it's the absolute least they could do to show they care about women after the NHL forced the public relations' disaster of a rare, right handed puck-mover to go play in and around Siberia during the entire prime of his once promising career.