KHL bans player for life after he incited preseason brawl

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The KHL sent a message Thursday: Zero tolerance.

Damir Ryspaev, who started a massive brawl during an exhibition game Aug. 8, has been banned for life for his actions, the league announced.

The Barys Astana defenseman can't appeal the ban, the league added, but said "it may be reversed if the disciplinary committee agrees to review any statement from the individual concerned."

KHL president Dmitry Chernyshenko said the following in a statement:

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.

Ryspaev's agent said he'll appeal to the KHL's disciplinary committee, according to Yahoo Sports' Sean Leahy, who cites a Russian report.

Ryspaev's played 23 games in the KHL, recording no points and 194 penalty minutes - more than eight per contest.

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KHL bans player for life after he incited preseason brawl
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