The IIHF has suspended five Swedish players — including Rasmus Dahlin, the projected No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft — and three coaches for their conduct during the medal ceremony at the 2018 World Junior Hockey Championship on Jan. 5, 2018.
Team captain Lias Andersson received the longest suspension of four games while forward Axel Jonsson, forward Jesper Boqvist, defenceman Dahlin and goaltender Olle Eriksson Ek all received two games.
Head coach Tomas Monten is suspended three games while assistants Nizze Landen and Henrik Stridh each received a pair of games.
The suspensions all came as a result of the players and coaches taking their silver medals off their necks during the medal ceremony, following their loss in the championship game against Team Canada. Andersson, who was drafted by the New York Rangers in 2017, received the longest suspension for throwing his medal into the crowd.
The IIHF released the following statement regarding the players’ suspensions:
“Taking off the silver medals presented to the players 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 fact, that the players afterwards have apologized for their behaviour and have assured that they had no intentions to be disrespectful to anyone, does not excuse the actions. The players have by their actions shown a lack of self-control, which cannot be accepted for a player playing at that level in an important championship. It indicates that they have developed wrong ambitions where only the first place counts, which is absolutely in contradiction to the ideas and values of sport. The actions of the players have to be considered as unsportsmanlike and as a breach of conduct that brings the sport of ice hockey into disrepute; they are 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 behaviour; to be ‘frustrated’ by the loss of a game is not the right attitude, even at the player’s age.”
The suspensions are all to be enforced at the start of the 2019 World Junior Hockey Championship.