The IIHF has announced that, Lias Andersson has been suspended for the first four games of the 2019 World Junior Championships for conduct stemming from his actions following the Silver Medal ceremony at this past January's World Junior Championships.
- This suspension does not impact Andersson's ability to play for Sweden at the World Championships later this week
From the IIHF announcement, "Lias Andersson, who had been warned by the Co-Chairman of the championship not to take off the medal when he placed the medal around his neck, nevertheless took it off and tossed it into the stands."
The announcement states that Andersson, and some of his teammates violated a regulation stating that the medals must 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.
On their decision to suspend Andersson for four games, the IIHF ruled "Concerning player Andersson, the Panel is of the opinion that a suspension of four games is necessary, considering his position as captain of the team who should be an example in his behavior for his teammates and the fact that he not only took the medal off his neck, though he had been warned, not to do so, but also tossed it into the stands, demonstrating unsportsmanlike contempt for the award to everybody in the arena and on TV."
At the time, Andersson was praised by some for his competitive nature, including Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty, "I thought it showed a lot of emotion, these kids are young and it was a spur of the moment thing. I loved it. It shows how badly he wanted to win and I have no problem with that."
Adam Rotter: This seems like it's more about setting a precedent for the future because Andersson turns 20 before the tournament starts and won't be eligible. The basis of the tournament is that it's for players under the age of 20 and Andersson turns 20 in October. Even if Andersson were eligible, I think it's unlikely the Rangers would even let him play in the tournament next year. Andersson is expected to play with the Rangers next season and there would be no reason, unless for some reason he isn't playing or scratched, for him to play in that tournament.