The hockey world saw one of the most egregious on-ice attacks today, when noted goon Damir Ryspayev of Barys Astana attacked almost the entire Kunlun Red Star squad. After sucker-punching Tomas Marcinko from behind and knocking the Red Star forward out, Ryspayev proceeded to attack any red jersey in sight, even going after players on the bench. The game was suspended after just three minutes, and Marcinko was taken to the hospital for further evaluation.
Ryspayev is a 21-year old who has three points in his professional hockey career (stretching back to 2011-12). During that time, he’s racked up more than 500 PIM, and was suspended just a few months ago for five games following a similar incident. According to Aivis Kalnins, he has been suspended for the remainder of the pre-season, and the KHL will hold a disciplinary hearing to determine if anything further will be handed down.
- The Winnipeg Jets have hired Todd Woodcroft as an assistant coach today, joining Paul Maurice’s staff for the 2016-17 season. A former video coach of both the Washington Capitals and Team Canada, Woodcroft has spent the past three seasons with the Calgary Flames as their scouting director. Woodcroft will likely not be behind the bench, as Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun reports he’ll be the eye-in-the-sky during games. His brother, Jay, is an assistant coach with the Edmonton Oilers, meaning that the sibling rivalry will live on even after his cross-prairie move to the Jets.
- Jason Brough of NBC Sports writes about the need to keep Sergei Bobrovsky healthy for this season, stating that it’s been a focus of GM Jarmo Kekalainen this summer. The Blue Jackets have hired on Nelson Ayotte to “bridge the gap between the medical staff and the staff of strength and conditioning coach Kevin Collins“. One of Ayotte’s biggest tasks will be keeping the Jackets’ prized goaltender on the ice, as Bobrovsky is owed $21.2MM over the next three years.
- While the Montreal Canadiens have been derided for their recent move of P.K. Subban for Shea Weber, one current player is excited about his new teammate. In a recent article in the Montreal Gazette by Steve Ewen, Brendan Gallagher compares the media’s opinion with those of other NHL players: “You get two different perspectives. You get the perspective of people who don’t have to play against Shea Weber and what they understand, and you get the perspective of players from the Western Conference who tell you how happy they are to see Shea Weber leave the conference.” It’s true, those criticizing the Canadiens have no idea what it’s like to go into the corner against Weber, or try to block one of his booming slapshots, but he’ll have to prove that his declining possession numbers are an aberration and not a trend, as he’s under contract for a very long time in Montreal.