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Report: KHL player possibly facing criminal charges for attacks during pre-season game

Damir Ryspayev has already been suspended for the entire pre-season after attacking several players during a Monday game, but the 21-year-old may also be facing criminal charges after the Red Star Kunlun GM took the matter to authorities.
The Hockey News

The Hockey News

KHL forward Damir Ryspayev became infamous throughout the hockey world Monday for his actions which led to the cancellation of a pre-season game between Barys Astana and Red Star Kunlun. But Ryspayev may have bigger issues beyond the suspension he’s facing for attacking several Red Star players.

According to several reports, Kunlun GM Vladimir Krechin has taken the matter to police and is seeking to press charges against Ryspayev.

During the pre-season game Monday, Ryspayev suckerpunched Red Star’s Tomas Marcinko. The result was Marcinko being taken from the ice by a stretcher and sent to hospital where he was diagnosed with a concussion. Ryspayev also chased after and fought two more unwilling players before heading to the Kunlun bench and attempting to fight another player.

Ryspayev was subsequently suspended by the KHL until further notice, but Krechin told Russian news outlet TASS that Ryspayev’s actions should be further punished. Thus, the Red Star GM has taken the matter to authorities.

"It is clear that the reason for the incident was the injury to (Barys forward) Dustin Boyd in a friendly match with our team on Aug. 5,” Krechin said, via TASS. “Trauma hard, and we sympathize with (Boyd) and wish him a speedy recovery, but anyone who has seen the episode confirms: it was purely a game moment in which the (referees) did not even (call a penalty). Unfortunately, it happens in hockey…but what happened today is completely beyond the scope of not only the rules of the game, but also the norms of human behavior.

“This is outrageous, so we appealed to all authorities, including the police of Kazakhstan to investigate the incident and give it a legal assessment, as in a number of countries such actions are considered not in sport, and civil laws and often lead the liability up to the criminal.”

Following the incident, the KHL released a statement condemning Ryspayev’s actions, saying his outburst contradicted the rules and spirit of the game. The suspension levied to him — which sees him out of all pre-season action, at least — came “in order to prevent and avoid deliberate actions by foul play hockey, which can lead to serious injuries hockey players, moral harm hockey fans and damage the image of the league.”

Ryspayev is known in the KHL for being a goon, having racked up 194 penalty minutes in a mere 23 games.

During the 2015-16 season, Ryspayev had 111 penalty minutes in 16 games and was suspended by the league on several occasions, including a five-game suspension in January 2016 for throwing punches at a downed Michal Kempny. The KHL said they “expressed extreme concern over (the) incident” with Kempny.

The league has yet to take further action on Ryspayev for his actions in the contest against Kunlun, but there’s reason to believe more punishment could be coming his way.

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