In the 31st minute of Thursday’s game in Kazan between Ak Bars and Medvescak Zagreb, home defenseman Grigory Panin aimed a deliberate blow to the head of the Croats’ American forward, Matt Murley, after the referee had blown the whistle to halt play.
The KHL Disciplinary Committee has studied the incident and upheld the referee’s decision to award a major plus game misconduct penalty (5+20 minutes) for causing injury with an attack to the head or neck area, and has also disqualified Panin for 10 games - the maximum punishment for fouls of this nature. As this was the Kazan defenseman’s second game misconduct penalty of the season, he also incurs an automatic one-game ban. Grigory Panin is therefore suspended for a total of 11 games.
Due to the serious nature of the offense, the Kontinental Hockey League has announced it will investigate the incident further with a view to examining the possibility of taking additional disciplinary measures.