Russian hockey coach Oleg Znarok has been suspended from the gold medal game Sunday night against Finland. The suspension is due to a throat-slash gesture Znarok made towards Swedish assistant coach Rikard Gronborg during Saturday’s semifinals.
Znarok apparently defended the gesture, stating that he had a sore throat from the cold air in the arena and the fact that his suit was so thin. Interesting excuse, seeing as the video doesn’t seem to support this statement.
Sweden’s Gronborg was also suspended due to some inappropriate language in response to the gesture.
The drama between the two benches began after Sweden’s Mikael Backlund’s cheap shot to Russia’s Sergei Plotnikov. Plotnikov is currently injured. After the game, Znarok said that “the Swedish forward was out of order.”
Potential penalties against the Russian Hockey Federation are also being rumored in result of this incident.
The ban includes activities prior to and during the game in addition to any post game celebrations. If Russia does win the gold medal, Znarok will not be around to celebrate with his team. Was the gesture worth it in the end? Not at all.