If you follow The Hockey Show, you know that we have a fondness for Barys Astana since they employ or have employed a number of players with Winnipeg ties either by birthplace or having played in the city. We had not seen anything like the following that Damir Ryspayev pulled off by this Barys Astana team, but I suppose there is always room for firsts. Here is the video of Ryspayev losing his ever-loving mind on the ice and attacking everyone. I'm not sure why there isn't any sound, but you probably don't need it for this video.
Thanks to Ryspayev's insanity, the game between Barys Astana and Kunlun Red Star was cancelled. The KHL immediately suspended Ryspayev indefinitely for his actions until they could further rule on the matter above. Ryspayev, for what it's worth, has zero points and 194 penalty minutes in 23 career games with Astana. If you do the math, that's over eight minutes in the sin bin per game in his illustrious career. That's not exactly a ringing endorsement for his hockey skill.
Kunlun Red Star decided that seeing Ryspayev suspended indefinitely was only going to be the tip of the iceberg. Kunlun has filed charges against Ryspayev for his attacks on the four Red Star players including the initial attack on Tomas Marcinko who required medical treatment at the hospital following the sucker-punch that kicked off Ryspayev's reign of terror. Not only does Ryspayev have to deal with the league for his idiocy, but it appears he'll need to own up for his actions in a court of law.
Ok, so maybe I don't have to play commissioner after all.
Personally, I have read some absolutely vile articles that question the toughness of the Kunlun team. If you have this stance, you deserve to be sucker-punched by Ryspayev. What he did had zero - ZERO - to do with hockey. He deserves to be punished harshly by both the league and the criminal courts for his actions.
We know that the criminal courts occasionally move slowly when processing so let's do this right: Ryspayev is suspended until the criminal proceedings are over.
With this ruling, it's very easy to see Ryspayev sitting out for some time. If he's charged with assault or any other criminal charges brought against him, it's easy to terminate his contract. If Ryspayev or his agent push the KHL to reinstate him while the court system figures out when he is required to appear, he remains suspended until the criminal charges against him are resolved. At that point, his suspension would be re-evaluated based on the outcome of the trial. I commissioner-ed the hell out of that one, right?
Look, this may seem like I'm doing nothing as commissioner, but I truly think that Ryspayev's fate should be determined by the criminal courts. If he had sucker-punched four people in everyday life out on the sidewalk, he'd definitely be locked up and awaiting trial, so let's actually let society decide the outcome of Ryspayev on this one. If sports is a microcosm of society, maybe it's time to let society into the game and apply some real-world punishment for what was four cases of unprovoked assault. I believe that's reasonable, no?
Until further notice, Ryspayev will watch from outside any KHL arena. For a 21 year-old to potentially flush his hockey career away through sheer stupidity, he might need some time away from the rink to reflect on his future career goals.
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!