After an on-ice attack that left one player laying on the ice unconscious, the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) announced Barys Astana defenseman Damir Ryspayev was banned from the league for life on Thursday.
— KHL_English (@khl_eng) August 18, 2016
The incident took place during a KHL preseason game between Barys Astana and HC Kunlun Red Star on Aug. 8. The brawl began just three minutes into the contest when Ryspayev sucker-punched Red Star forward Tomas Marcinko, before repeatedly punching two other unwilling Red Star players. Ryspayev then proceeded to the team’s bench where he tried to fight a third player and officials became involved. Marcinko was stretchered off of the ice and later diagnosed with a concussion.
“This ban cannot be appealed through the courts or any other procedure,” according to the KHL’s announcement. “However, it may be reversed if the Disciplinary Committee agrees to review any statement from the individual concerned.”
Based upon the KHL’s statement, a lack of involvement from other members of Barys Astana was something that the league could not ignore. “In addition, the KHL paid close attention to the fact that neither the training staff nor the directors of Barys Astana took adequate measures to stop Damir Ryspayev from acting in a manner that violated the rules of the game of hockey.”
KHL President, Dmitry Chernyshenko, called Ryspayev’s behavior “not merely harmful in a sporting context” but also conduct that “blackens the image of the league.”
Just after the game ended on Aug. 8, Red Star general manager Vladimir Krechin reportedly sought criminal charges against Ryspayev. To date, no formal criminal charges have been filed against the player.
Steven is a lawyer and writer with a passion for the game of hockey. He’s the Lead Writer covering the Tampa Bay Lightning with THW. He’s also been press credentialed through the Lightning since 2016. His work has been published at The Fourth Period, LightningInsider.com, Bolt Prospects, The Sports Daily Network, U.S. College Hockey Online and College Hockey News. He’s had radio appearances on TSN 690 in Montreal, Lightning Power Play Live and multiple podcasts to give insight and analysis on the team. He can be reached on Twitter @StevenDiOssi and by email at email@example.com.