There's a heavy police presence at the St. Louis Blues hockey game Tuesday night -- with officials making sure fans feel safe amid the insanity in neighboring Ferguson ... TMZ Sports has learned.
We spoke with staffers at the Scottrade Center -- who tell us there is "about double" the amount of security at the arena ... most of which are off-duty cops privately hired to work the event.
It's the first major sporting event in the area since the grand jury in the Mike Brown case announced it would not be indicting Officer Darren Wilson.
FYI -- there are roughly 2,200 National Guard troops in Ferguson to help maintain the peace.
Don't forget, there were clashes outside of the St. Louis Cardinals games back in October when protesters and Cards fans faced off over the issue.
Hopefully, cooler heads will prevail.
NHL Player Slava Voynov
Charged With Domestic Violence
11/20/2014 1:45 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov was hit with a felony charge Thursday following an arrest for domestic violence last month.
The charge -- corporal injury to a spouse with great bodily injury -- carries a maximum sentence of 9 years in state prison if found guilty.
According to the Los Angeles County District Attorney, Voynov's wife suffered injuries to her eyebrow, cheek and neck ... and the damage was serious enough that she had to get treated at a hospital. Sources tell us she required several stitches to close facial wounds.
Voynov will be arraigned on December 1. He's been suspended from the Kings since his arrest on October 20.
As we previously reported ... Voynov's attorney, Craig Renetzky, says the wife "fell down" in their home. He added ... she does not want to press charges.
That won't make the case go away. Prosecutors frequently pursue charges when a violent felony has occurred -- even if the alleged victim doesn't cooperate. Renetzky maintains his client is innocent.
Michael Buble Is Wrong
Best Hockey Fighter Is ...
11/12/2014 7:19 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Mike Myers has a bone to pick with Michael Buble ... claiming the singer was dead wrong about the greatest NHL fighter of all time.
Of course, Buble had picked Geno Odjick ... who once tried to fight an entire NHL team. The video is awesome.
But Myers says his #1 goon is Ken Baumgartner ... who's ranked #37 on the all-time list of penalty minutes served in the NHL. He was a badass too.
Well, after some quick cyber-snooping ... we actually found a video of a KEN vs. GENO fight from 1993 -- and when those guys dropped the gloves, there was one clear winner.
Ex-NHL Star Sean Avery
QUITS OFF-BROADWAY PLAY
... After Alleged Meltdown
11/5/2014 8:07 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Former NY Rangers superstar Sean Avery has QUIT his off-Broadway play -- just days before his scheduled to debut -- after allegedly cussing out a stage manager.
The 34-year-old was set to star in "Negative Is Positive" in New York City -- a story about an interracial couple -- but according to the author, he freaked out and stormed off.
“He’s a playwright’s worst nightmare,” “Negative” author Christy Smith-Sloman told Page Six.
"It’s a complete horror story ... Avery had a complete meltdown in rehearsals and quit. He pretty much snapped."
According to Smith-Sloman, Avery cussed out a stage manager who asked if he wanted a slice of pizza ... which Avery reportedly misheard as a cuss word ... and responded with an expletive-filled tirade.
The play is scheduled to open on Thursday -- and Smith-Sloman says Avery's role will be played by an understudy.
"It’s unbelievable he would do this two days before we open. At this point I don’t want him to be a part of this production. He can’t call people pieces of [bleep] and say, ‘Do you know who I am?’ [He] can’t threaten people."
Honors NHL Star Geno Odjick
'Best Hockey Fighter EVER'
10/31/2014 10:11 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Michael Buble respects a man willing to fight 5 men at the same time ... which is why the long-time NHL fan says Gino Odjick is the best hockey brawler EVER!!!
Odjick was a BEAST out on the ice during his 12-year run in the NHL ... but Buble says his favorite memory ever is when the guy tried to fight an ENTIRE hockey team at once.
We think Buble was talking about an incident in May '95 ... when Odjick went after several players on the St. Louis Blues.
Odjick is currently battling terminal heart disease ... and just like when he played, Gino says he refuses to go down without a fight.
NHL Star Semyon Varlamov Sued
HE TRIED TO KILL ME
... Ex-GF Claims
10/27/2014 12:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
NHL star Semyon Varlamov is being sued by his ex-GF ... who claims he terrorized her for years and tried to kill her in a drunken rage ... TMZ Sports has learned.
The woman behind the lawsuit is Evgeniya Vavrinyuk ... a former law student from Russia ... who says the Colorado Avalanche goalie had a bad habit of getting super drunk and then beating the living crap out of her.
In her suit, filed in Colorado by attorney Keith Fink, Vavrinyuk claims Semyon first attacked her back in 2012 in a "drunken animal rage" ... kicking and punching her even after she was "helpless on the ground."
Vavrinyuk claims the abuse occurred multiple times ... with Semyon constantly apologizing and begging her for forgiveness when he sobered up.
In her suit, Vavrinyuk says some of the abuse occurred when they were living in Russia -- but even when neighbors called police, "they refused to file any report or press charges due to Varlamov's celebrity hockey player status in Russia."
"The officers even shook his hand and wished him the best of luck the following season after speaking to the beaten and bruised Vavrinyuk," her lawsuit claims.
Vavrinyuk claims the final straw occurred in the early hours of October 29th, 2013 ... when the NHL player allegedly came home from a Halloween party in Denver and drunkenly beat her with closed fists with deadly intentions.
In her suit, Vavrinyuk claims a friend noticed her bruises later that day and contacted police and Semyon was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence.
But despite a police investigator testifying that Vavrinyuk had bruises on her body, criminal charges against the hockey player were ultimately dropped for lack of evidence.
Now, Vavrinyuk has taken her case to the civil courts where the burden of proof is significantly lower -- sources tell us she's looking for more than $1 MILLION in damages.
We reached out to Varlamov's camp for comment -- so far, no word back.
Ottawa Game Canceled
Following Deadly Shooting
10/22/2014 11:21 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
The NHL has postponed tonight's game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators because of the tragic shootings in Ottawa this morning.
No make-up date has been set for the game yet ... with the league saying it will announce the new schedule at a later time.
The chaos started this morning when a man allegedly armed with a rifle shot and killed a soldier at the National War Memorial downtown.
TMZ Sports obtained a release from the NHL, saying ... "The National Hockey League wishes to express its sympathy to all affected by the tragic events that took place this morning in downtown Ottawa."
We're also told the Maple Leaf players are currently on lockdown at a hotel on Parliament HIll.
Story Developing ...
NHL Star Slava Voynov
I DIDN'T BEAT MY WIFE
... Says Cops Misunderstood
10/22/2014 8:47 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
L.A. Kings star Slava Voynov is adamant he did NOT attack his wife -- and claims cops simply misunderstood his wife's explanation for her injuries because she doesn't speak English.
TMZ Sports spoke with Slava's attorney Craig Renetzky, who tells us he met with Slava and his spoouse after the NHL star was arrested for domestic violence in L.A. on Monday -- saying the whole thing is a real-life case of "lost in translation."
Renetzky says he spoke with Voynov's wife using a Russian interpreter -- and "after this detailed interview, it became abundantly apparent to me that there was a misunderstanding by the police as to what actually occurred."
So what happened? We're told his wife is adamant she "fell down" ... and that's why neighbors heard her crying. Slava's attorney says she tried to explain that to police ... but cops got the wrong impression and arrested Slava.
"It is my hope that when the police conclude their investigation they will realize that there was no criminal activity on the behalf of Mr. Voynov," Renetzky tells us.
"Charges are not warranted in this case. My client is also hopeful that the NHL will conclude its investigation promptly and will likewise allow him to join his team."
NHL Star Slava Voynov
Dom. Violence Victim Hospitalized
10/20/2014 9:38 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
The woman who was allegedly attacked by L.A. Kings star Slava Voynov was injured so badly, she was rushed to the hospital ... where staffers called the cops on Voynov ... TMZ Sports has learned.
Law enforcement tells us ... Voynov was actually arrested at the hospital in Torrance, CA around 1 AM Monday morning on suspicion of domestic violence.
We're told Voynov had accompanied the woman to the hospital -- and shortly after they arrived, hospital staffers called authorities to report Voynov as the person suspected of attacking the woman.
Our sources also ell us the woman claims she was in a relationship with Voynov.
Voynov was hauled to a nearby jail -- where he was eventually released on $50k bail.
Story developing ...
Cuba Gooding Jr. On
Topless NHL Celebration:
IT'S HOW I GET DOWN!
10/1/2014 6:56 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Screw Ebola, Cuba Gooding Jr. has clearly been infected with another troubling ailment ... BIEBER-ITUS ... 'cause the Oscar winner can't seem to keep his shirt on these days.
Cuba was leaving Cafe Habana in Malibu Tuesday when we asked about his recent topless hockey celebration -- when he ripped off his top moments after scoring a mid-ice shot during an NHL shooting challenge.
Cuba's explanation? THAT'S HOW HE DO!!!
... and then he ripped off his shirt again.
Bieber-itus ... it's spreading.
Pulls the Goalie
... Gets Pregnant
9/23/2014 9:41 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Paulina Gretzky is pregnant ... sorry fellas.
The daughter of The Great One broke the news on Instagram ... saying, "[Dustin Johnson] and I are so excited to finally share with you all our amazing news ... we're having a baby!!"
Paulina has been dating PGA star Dustin Johnson since 2011 -- and he finally popped the question back in August '13 ... though it's unclear when they plan to actually tie the knot.
As for the fetus, Gretsky didn't say when the kid's due -- but she's already sportin' a bump!
It Was Dirt Cheap to Pull Off
Epic Ice Bucket Challenge
8/13/2014 4:00 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
NHL player Paul Bissonnette's plan to pull off the most badass ALS ice bucket challenge ever ... started where most extreme ideas do -- at a bar while throwing back a few rounds -- and he tells TMZ Sports the stunt was actually pretty cheap. Bissonnette says he and 4 other friends came up with the now legendary idea while chilling in a Vancouver bar -- partly because one of his drinking buddies owns a chopper and camera gear.
Bissonnette's heard Internet haters chirping that his caper was a waste of money, and he should have just donated the production cost to ALS research -- but turns out it was way less expensive than you'd think.
According to Paul ... he only dropped $175 to fill the chopper with gas, and a few other supplies.
He and his friends also donated $1000 to the cause.
So it was ballsy AND cost-effective! Top that, LeBron.
NHLer Paul Bissonnette
Most Epic Ice Bucket Challenge Ever!!
8/12/2014 12:05 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Ex-Phoenix Coyote winger Paul Bissonnette didn't just take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge ... he took it, multiplied it by a million, and then called out some of the biggest names in sports.
The challenge that's all over social media was designed to raise money and awareness for research into ALS. When challenged, you're supposed to dump anything ... from a pitcher to a Gatorade bucket ... filled with ice water over your head, or make a donation.
The video is amazing, and you gotta see the 3 HUGE athletes he's now challenging. We'd say Biz has balls, but after that dousing ...