The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) announced Wednesday that Team Sweden’s Lias Andersson (four games) and Axel Johnson, Jesper Boqvist, Rasmus Dahlin and Olle Eriksson Ek (two games) were suspended for the medal-throwing incident which occurred more than five months ago.
Several Swedish players and coaches suspended for their conduct during #WorldJuniors medal ceremonies. The suspensions will be into effect for the next IIHF junior events, not for the upcoming #IIHFWorlds. Read more here: https://t.co/M38yC0OwVH pic.twitter.com/zGw8hrAgGj
— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) May 2, 2018
In case you forgot, here’s what spurned the suspensions. Andersson tossed his silver medal into the crowd after losing to team Canada in the Gold Medal game of the World Junior Championship.
First of all, suspending Andersson and all those players is complete hogwash.
You can argue all you want Andersson tossing the medal into the crowd was unsportsmanlike but was it deserving of a four-game suspension? Absolutely not. Andersson was upset at the moment and reacted. He didn’t hurt anyone, disrespect anyone or violate any rules. God forbid someone show emotion during one of the most painful losses of their career.
Secondly, the timing of the suspensions is straight-up bizarre. Are you telling me it took the IIHF five months to deliberate and come up with the suspensions? Because that’s an awfully long time for a governing body to make up its mind. The suspensions would be much easier to swallow if they were dished out immediately following the tournament. By waiting nearly half a year it makes you think they’ve got some sort of vendetta against team Sweden.
As for Dahlin and the others, sitting out two games seems excessive. All they did was remove the medals from their neck during the ceremony. The IIHF governing body is flaunting its power by saying the kids were being disrespectful when they were just reacting like humans. It’s a clueless suspension.
Finally, suspending Andersson accomplishes nothing. The 19-year-old will be 20 when the next World Junior hockey tourney hits, so he can’t actually serve his suspension. Andersson doesn’t regret it, and shouldn’t.
“No, I don’t regret it. That’s the type of person I am and I did it. I don’t regret it. I have won exactly the same medal at home in Sweden, and I lost three finals and one bronze-medal game in the last four years with the national team, Andersson told The Athletic.”
Good job IIHF. You’re not allowing some of the best youngsters in the World to participate in upcoming games because your feelings were hurt. As for suspending Andersson, it’s confusing and unnecessary. Why do this now? It’s a question that I can’t find an answer for.