In response to a surge in the number of players sustaining injuries as a result of reckless and illegal challenges, the KHL Disciplinary Committee held an emergency meeting on Friday, after which Committee chief Valery Kamensky issued the following statement:
“It is with deep regret that we note the significant increase this season in players sustaining serious injuries as a result of boarding, kneeing, attacks from behind and attacks to the head, with the latest example being Ak Bars defenseman Grigory Panin’s illegal hit on Medvescak’s Matt Murley, committed after play had been halted and while Murley was still on his knees.
This was pure hooliganism from Panin. For us on the Disciplinary Committee, this is an alarm bell we cannot ignore, and therefore we consider it vital to inform all concerned that from now on the Disciplinary Committee will be far more severe in implementing additional disciplinary measures to punish fouls which cause injury to other players. We fully understand that players and teams have a heavy workload and all are battling for a place in the play-offs, but this is no reason for unnecessarily dirty play on the ice and in no way excuses those who have committed senseless fouls and injured their fellow players.
As for Panin, the League has already imposed the maximum punishment for such behavior. However, the Regulations do provide for additional punishments in extraordinary cases which may require harsher measures than those already implemented. In my view, this incident is one which demands a far longer suspension than the ten-game maximum. We believe the Players’ Union should also take action in light of recent events, and should demand that its members show respect for their opponents and refrain from dirty play.”