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Report: KHLer who suckerpunched opponents could be suspended one-third of season

Barys Astana forward Damir Ryspayev could be facing a 20-game suspension after suckerpunching three different players and attacking the Red Star Kunlun bench during a pre-season KHL game. He has already been suspended the entire pre-season.
The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Barys Astana forward Damir Ryspayev has already been sentenced to a full pre-season ban after his actions during an exhibition contest against Red Star Kunlun on Monday, but the KHL could come down hard on the 21-year-old and ban him from competition nearly half the season.

According to a report from Russia’s, Ryspayev could be facing a 20-game suspension for his actions, which works out to exactly one-third of the 2016-17 campaign.

A 20-game ban wouldn’t be the first time Ryspayev has been suspended, but it would definitely mark the longest suspension of his KHL career. Previously he had received short suspensions and one five-game ban for punching a downed Michal Kempny. And if that incident caused the KHL to express “extreme concern,” it makes sense that Ryspayev’s actions during the tune-up contest against Kunlun would result in a serious suspension.

The entire incident, which can be seen below, had been a bit of a black mark on the KHL’s pre-season. It occurred just three minutes into the first period of the game between Barys and Red Star, and caused the cancellation and forfeit of the contest by Kunlun. The first player Ryspayev struck, Tomas Marcinko, was taken to hospital after being stretchered from the ice. He was diagnosed with a concussion.

Kunlun’s GM Vladimir Krechin has since spoken out on the matter, too, saying he has “appealed to all authorities, including the police of Kazakhstan, to investigate the incident and give it legal assessment.” However, there hasn’t been any word on potential criminal charges outside of Krechin’s statement.

It’s believed Rypsayev’s actions came as a response to a hit which sidelined Astana’s Dustin Boyd in the exhibition game the teams had played two days prior. Boyd’s leg was broken on the play.

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