KHL gives Damir Ryspayev lifetime ban following preseason brawl


Having already been suspended for the remainder of the KHL preseason, Barys’ Damir Ryspayev has now been handed a lifetime ban for his actions during a brawl earlier this month.

The game lasted only three minutes after first-year KHL side Kunlun Red Star abandoned the ice. Tomas Marcinko, who was sucker-punched by Ryspayev, suffered a concussion.

“It goes without saying that hockey is a contact sport. But above all, it is a fair contest in which rival players are guided by the rules of the game and spirit of sporting ethics,” said Gennady Timchenko, representative of the KHL’s Council of Directors in a statement. “The League acts as a guarantor of these rules and laws, and cannot allow them to be systematically and grotesquely violated. It is utterly unacceptable to intentionally endanger the safety and fitness of opposing players. Every player’s professionalism is demonstrated by the ability to play a hard, uncompromising game while maintaining full respect for fellow sportsmen and their fans.

Said KHL president Dmitry Chernyshenko: “In hockey there has always been space for a fair fight between equal opponents under the principles of fair play. But in hockey, as in any other professional sport, the can be no place for the outright violence displayed by Barys defenseman Damir Ryspaev in the game against KHL newcomer Kunlun Red Star. We are constantly working to attract a new audience and broaden the game’s geographical reach and Ryspaev’s behavior is not merely harmful in a sporting context, it also blackens the image of the league. As directors of the league, we could not allow this incident to go unpunished and so we have taken this decision.”

The league also added that they “paid close attention to the fact that neither the training staff nor the directors of Barys Astana took adequate measures to stop Damir Ryspaev from acting in a manner that violated the rules of the game of hockey.”

Ryspayev’s agent said his client will appeal the ban, which cannot be appealed through court, to the KHL’s disciplinary committee.

“We were prepared for the fact that Damir will miss a certain number of matches. But what is perpetual disqualification? We do not understand this,” he said via SovSport.

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Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!