The IIHF announced Wednesday that it has handed down multiple suspensions to players and coaches from the Swedish National Junior team for their conduct during the medal ceremony at the 2018 World Junior Hookey Championship in Buffalo in January.
Forward and team captain Lias Andersson received a four-game suspension, while forwards Axel Jonsson and Jesper Boqvist, goaltender Olle Eriksson Ek and defenceman Rasmus Dahlin each received two-game suspensions for the first two games of the 2019 World Junior Hockey Championship in Vancouver and Victoria.
The IIHF also suspended head coach Tomas Montén from working as head coach or assistant coach or in any other position as a team official for the first three games of the tournament, along with assistant coach Nizze Landén and assistant coach Henrik Stridh.
After Sweden's loss to Canada in the gold medal final, four players took their silver medals off and kept them in their hands for the remaining ceremony, while Andersson took his off and tossed it into the stands. The coaches took off their medals and put them into their pockets for the rest of the ceremony.
The IIHF maintains that doing so 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."
"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," said the IIHF 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."