We get it: you don't really win a silver medal in hockey, you just finished in second place and lose the opportunity to win gold. However, there now seems to be serious retributions for players and coaches who do not take the medal ceremony seriously...
We all remember when Sweden captain Lias Andersson, who had tears in his eyes after his team lost in dramatic fashion to Canada in the final game of the World Juniors, wanted nothing to do with the silver medal and tossed it into the stands. A fan, who first wore a Rochester Americans sweater, then removed the aforementioned jersey to reveal he was wearing a Sweden jersey underneath, caught it as a prestigious souvenir. The 19-year-old forward confirmed to media post-game that he threw it away because he simply didn’t want to keep it.
“That guy in the stands wanted it more than me,” Andersson said.
On Wednesday morning, the IIHF Disciplinary Board announced it had handed down multiple suspensions to both players and coaches of the Swedish National Junior team for their conduct during the medal ceremony of the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship in Buffalo, USA. Here is the full breakdown of the suspensions:
- Forward and team captain Lias Andersson is suspended for the first four games of the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship.
- Forward Axel Jonsson is suspended for the first two games of the 2019 IIHF Junior World Championship.
- Forward Jesper Boqvist is suspended for the first two games of the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship.
- Defenceman Rasmus Dahlin is suspended for the first two games of the 2019 Ice Hockey U18 World Championship.
- Goaltender Olle Eriksson Ek is suspended for the first two games of the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Head coach Tomas Montén is suspended from acting as head coach or assistant coach or in any other position as a team official for the first three games at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Assistant coach Nizze Landén is suspended from acting as assistant coach or in any other position as a team official for the first two games at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship
Assistant coach Henrik Stridh is suspended from acting as assistant coach or in any other position as a team official the first two games at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship.
By taking off the silver medals during the closing ceremony of the 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey World Junior Championship immediately after the medals had been placed around their necks, the players in question violated Championship Regulations Article 5.5.8 of the 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey World Junior Championship, according to which the silver medals are placed by IIHF representatives around the necks of the players and team officials and have to be worn around the neck in respectful manner for the duration of the closing ceremony and the following post-game mixed zone and media conference procedures."
At the time of the 2019 World Junior Championship though, Andersson will be 20-years-old (born October 13, 1998), making him ineligible for the tournament. Projected first overall pick Dahlin, might already by the major force behind an NHL team by the time the tournament is on at the start of 2019.
The players and coaches have the right to appeal the suspensions to the Court of Arbitration for Sport within the next three weeks, something that Swedish Hockey Federation chairman Anders Larsson said in a statement that they are considering.