Finnish Elite League leading scorer Malte Strömwall was ejected from Friday’s game and suspended an additional match for a hand gesture.

During a stoppage in play late in the first period, KooKoo’s Strömwall made a gesture, shaking his right hand, that the referee deemed offensive. He was immediately sent to the locker room.

Pursuant to Rule 116 v 4 of the Rules of Procedure, a player who performs an act of indecent act or act on any person on the ice or in any field before, during or immediately after the match is sentenced to a match penalty.

Strömwall disputed the call, arguing that he was shaking his hand to relieve pain after being hit by a stick on the previous shift.

One of the linesmen for the game witnessed the complete incident, countering that Strömwall directled the gesture toward the referee while staring him down.  The two officials conferred before issuing the game misconduct.



The league, SM-Liiga, reviewed the play, supporting the referee’s call and adding an additional one-game ban.

From the league, loosely translated for clarity:

The Disciplinary Delegation states that, in principle, the reports of the referees show reliably what has happened on the ice. On the other hand, the referee may also misinterpret the action of the player.

The delegation notes that the situation could be a waving of the hand due to pain, as stated in Strömwall’s statement. However, the Disciplinary Delegation notes that about 14 seconds have elapsed since the Strömwall stick hit, when Strömwall makes a gesture reported by the referee. The delegation considers that this reduces the reliability of Strömwall’s report.

Likewise, the credibility of Strömwall’s report is diminished by the fact that the stick hit is relatively small and is unlikely to cause the player to shake his hand in the video.

Disciplinary Delegation Regards having regard to the foregoing considerations, and the findings of the referee report and the position of the Chief Referee, that Strömwall made a hand gesture directed at the referee. Disciplinary Delegation believes that a one-game suspension is a sufficient sanction for this act.

Officials for the game were referees Antti Boman (#3) and Jarno Heikkinen (#9) and linesmen Lauri Nikulainen (#49) and Samu Suurnäkki (#39)