The IIHF has suspended five Swedish players and three coaches for their actions during the medal ceremony at the conclusion of the 2018 world junior hockey championships in Buffalo.
During the WJHC the Swedish team lost 3-1 to Canada in the finals. Upset by the loss, some Swedish players removed their medals during the ceremony. Captain Lias Andersson threw his into the stands.
It may have taken a while, almost four months to be exact, but the IIHF has finally issued suspensions to those involved. Captain Lias Andersson has received a four game suspension whereas Axel Jonsson, Jesper Boqvist, Rasmus Dahlin and goaltender Olle Eriksson received a two game suspension each.
The punishments will be enforced for the 2019 world junior tournament, except for Dahlin, the consensus No. 1 pick in June’s draft, who has been banned from the first two games of the 2019 U18 World Championship.
Head coach Tomas Monten will be suspended for the first three games of the 2019 world juniors, and assistants Nizze Landen and Henrik Stridh for the first two.
According to the IIHF, each player violated Regulations Article 5.5.8 of the tournament rulebook, which states all players and team officials have to wear their medals around their necks in a respectful manner for the duration of the closing ceremony and postgame media procedures.
“Taking off the silver medals presented to the members of the team shows not only the disrespect against the spectators and the organizers of the championship, but also the disrespect against their opponents and winners of the championship,” the IIHF said in a statement. “This behavior has to be considered as highly unsportsmanlike and is a breach of conduct that brings the sport of ice hockey into disrepute.
“It is not compatible with the idea of sport as a fair competition between the teams involved in order to determine the best team of the tournament. The actions in question cannot be excused by disappointment or even frustration not to have won the championship. Losing a game is part of any competition and of the sport of ice hockey, and does not excuse any unfair and unsportsmanlike behavior; to be ‘frustrated’ by the loss of a game is not the right attitude.”