Damir Ryspayev has played 23 career games in the KHL. Over that time, Ryspayev has yet to find the score sheet for anything other than heading to the penalty box, and the ridiculousness of Ryspayev’s playing style marred a pre-season tilt between Barys Astana and Red Star Kunlun on Monday.
The 21-year-old Ryspayev, who has racked up nearly 200 penalty minutes over his short professional career in Astana, turned the pre-season game between Barys and Red Star into a joke just three minutes into the first frame. After a faceoff in the Barys zone, Ryspayev tried to goad Kunlun’s Tomas Marcinko into a fight, and when Marcinko wouldn’t drop his gloves, Ryspayev decided to suckerpunch him in the jaw.
As if he hadn’t caused an ugly enough scene, Ryspayev kept throwing fists. He went from socking Marcinko to attacking two more unwilling combatants from Red Star — one of whom Ryspayev targeted twice — before turning his attention to the Kunlun bench, skating over and attempting to fight players who weren’t even on the ice. Read more
The pre-season has many functions for a professional hockey team. For GMs, it’s a chance to make some final decisions about the roster for the coming season. For players, it’s one final tune up before the regular season begins. Even the training staff can get up to speed during the pre-season.
But for two KHL coaches, the pre-season offered a chance to get out frustrations by throwing punches at each other.
During a pre-season game between the KHL’s Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk and Torpedo Nizhy-Novgorod over the weekend, frustrations boiled over. The game, which was played as part of the Governor’s Cup tournament, saw Neftekhimik coach Evgeni Popikhin and Torpedo coach Peter Skudra come face to face between the benches during the second period. The coaches first exchanged some words, which led to them shoving each other, sparking some fisticuffs: Read more
It may be months before the NHL’s regular season begins, but KHL action is nearly upon us. The primarily Russian league is set to being play before the month ends, and that means rosters are being set and players are starting to round into form. For Ak Bars Kazan’s Vladimir Tkachyov, that seems to mean breaking out unthinkable breakaway dekes.
During a showcase put on the by the club ahead of the season, Tkachyov took part in a breakaway challenge and pulled of an incredible move that saw him scoop the puck up onto his stick, skate in on goal, pull back his arm and literally throw his stick — with the puck still somehow clinging to the blade — like a javelin. Tkachyov’s stick floated over the netminder and into the net. Read more
Andrei Vasilevskiy is already among the best Russian netminders in the world, and it could be just a few short seasons before the Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender is the best option in goal for the Russian national team.
And while being a Russian star usually goes hand-in-hand with occasional reports about the consideration of a contract in the KHL, Vasilevskiy has gotten way ahead of those rumors to make sure no one thinks he could be headed back to Russia.
According to KHL reporter Aivis Kalnins, Vasilevskiy, 22, has said he would “much rather sit on a bench in the NHL than play in (the) KHL.” The Lightning puck stopper added that he didn’t care if contract offers were coming his way now or later, he’d be staying put in the NHL. Not that Lightning fans were worried about Vasilevskiy leaving, but it’s always good to get some reassurance from the team’s future starter. Read more
Forgive SKA St. Petersburg if the KHL power goes into a bit of a slump in September. That’s because the franchise will lose a handful of star players and its coach to the World Cup of Hockey. Yes, the KHL schedule is out for 2016-17 and there is no break for the NHL/NHLPA best-on-best tournament.
The KHL’s expansion into China has been confirmed, the new franchise’s name, Red Star Kunlun, has been established and the front office and roster are beginning to take shape with several signings and a few players inked to tryout deals.
Meanwhile, though, the other aspects of the franchise are still taking shape. The logo for the club was only recently unveiled, and now comes a first look at the threads Red Star will reportedly be donning when the team hits the ice for the 2016-17 campaign. They’re unlike anything else in the KHL and NHL, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The jerseys, which boast a color scheme of red, white and a deep yellow, have a unique feature along the bottom edge of the sweater. Instead of having piping or stripes like many of the other teams throughout the pro ranks, Red Star has instead gone with an image of the Great Wall of China along the base of their jerseys. On both the white and the red jerseys, the sketch-like image of the Great Wall spans the length of the uniform. Take a look: Read more
According to multiple reports, right winger Alexander Radulov has priced himself out of an NHL contract. The KHL star always had the fall-back option of staying in Russia, but now that seems to have hit a speed bump, too.
Red Star Kunlun is set to become the first Chinese team in a major professional league when they begin play in the KHL next season, but little is known about the club.
The roster, coaching staff and even the import rules are seemingly still in the stage of being worked out, and the same can be said for what the team will look like, aesthetically, when they take the ice. Though it may be one of the least important aspects of, you know, actually running a successful team, Red Star is starting to cut it close with the KHL campaign slated to begin in roughly two and a half months.
According to a leaked logo, though, Kunlun may have their logo and team colors in place, and if the reported emblem does happen to be the franchise’s actual mark, it could stand as one of the league’s best. Read more