KHL brawler Damir Ryspayev gets a ‘lifetime’ ban


Remember that jaw-dropping KHL rampage from earlier in August? Well, it sounds like the KHL is doing what it can to make sure there won’t be another Damir Ryspayev rampage.

You can see Ryspayev (“playing” for Astana Barys) going after members of Chinese KHL expansion team Kunlun Red Star in the video above, which Puck Daddy’s Sean Leahy unearthed.

Last we heard, Kunlun Red Star was pressing charges against the 21-year-old defenseman. It’s unclear how that will play out, but the KHL announced a “lifetime ban” for Ryspayev on Thursday.

Looking through the full release, it’s clear the league isn’t happy with the action of Ryspayev’s team, either:

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 Ryspaev from acting in a manner that violated the rules of the game of hockey.

Here’s the meat of the release, at least once you get to personal statements rather than the drier legal language:

Gennady Timchenko, representative of the KHL’s Council of Directors:

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. 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.

Dmitry Chernyshenko, KHL president:

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.

For whatever it’s worth, “lifetime ban” isn’t the only phrasing used by the KHL:

“Term-less” also surfaced:

The message seems clear enough: the KHL doesn’t want him back.

Ryspayev’s agent Shumi Babayev told that, while he doesn’t condone his client’s actions, a lifetime ban is too severe and they’ll look to appeal the decision in some form.

Here’s the brawl in another format, if you’d prefer:

Well, if this sticks, he’ll at least be banned from the KHL.