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IIHF suspends Russian head coach, Swedish assistant for gold and bronze medal games

The IIHF moved quickly after Russian head coach Oleg Znarok and Swedish assistant coach Rikard Gronborg exchanged threatening gestures during yesterday's semifinal, announcing today that neither coach will be behind the bench for today's gold and bronze medal games:

Here's their press release:

The suspension comes as a result of a heated exchange between the two coaches, which saw Russian head coach Znarok make a throat-slashing gesture toward Gronborg near the end of yesterday’s semi-final game between Russia and Sweden. Gronborg was suspended for making, according to the IIHF Rulebook “a travesty of the game by conducting himself in a detrimental manner by directing foul and profane language toward coach Znarok.”

In the case of Znarok, he was found to be in violation in accordance with IIHF Rule 551 d) for making an obscene gesture to Gronborg.

Coach Gronborg was found to be in violation of Rule 551 d)2 which states that: Any team official who makes a travesty of, or is detrimental to the conduct of the game shall be assessed a match penalty.

When determining whether the infringement is minor, serious or gross, the Panel took into consideration among the following:

(1) the importance placed by the IIHF on the Official Playing Rule violated;
(2) personal guilt of incriminating party (i.e. whether violation was purposely or knowingly carried out or whether the incriminating party acted recklessly or negligently);
(3) the consequences of the infringement for persons directly and/or indirectly effected;
(4) negative effects on international ice hockey.

Looking at the criteria above, along with the video evidence and the game and referee supervisor report, the Panel determined that a suspension to both coaches was warranted.

As a result of the suspension Znarok and Gronborg will not be allowed to be involved with the team in any manner prior to or during the game. This also includes any post-game ceremonies.

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com