The Swedish Hockey League has suspended Timrå’s Albin Lundin for three games after tripping linesman Rickard Nilsson during Thursday’s game against Örebro. Lundin has also been fined 10,000 Swedish Krona, which is approximately $913 US dollars.
Lundin left the Timrå bench to join the play in the attacking zone, with the play on the far side of the ice. As he crossed the blueline, Lundin collided with the linesman who was gliding away from the boards. There was no penalty called on the play.
Later that day, the SHL’s Disciplinary Committee handed out Lundin’s punishment: a three-game ban for physical abuse of officials.
“The board finds that Albin Lundin was in any case indifferent to the collision with the linesman,” the league wrote in their ruling. “It should also be noted that Albin Lundin did not even stop after knocking the referee to the ice or take any other notice of the incident.”
From the decision:
A player or manager who intentionally inflicts physical contact on a referee or official in any way shall be charged with game misconduct and reported to the disciplinary committee. Physical contact that could have been avoided and where the player or manager showed indifference to the consequences of his actions shall be considered intentional physical contact under this rule, even in cases where the player or manager did not clearly intend to initiate physical contact with the referee.
The footage shows that Albin Lundin knocks down the linesman, who falls helplessly backwards and lands on the ice. In ice hockey, every player has an obligation to keep an eye on the ice and to exercise care so that he does not cause injury to match officials. The board notes that the linesman in the situation was in the expected area, on the blue line.
Albin Lundin entered the ice and quickly went forward without any supervision whatsoever. In these circumstances, the board finds that Albin Lundin was in any case indifferent to the collision with the judge. It should also be noted that Albin Lundin, even after knocking the referee to the ice, did not stop or take any other notice of the incident.
All in all, the circumstances are such that, according to the disciplinary committee, he has been guilty of punishable Physical abuse of officials, which should lead to a suspension.
Lundin – who called the three-game suspension “completely unimaginable” – gave his side of the incident to Expressen:
“After the whistle blows, I look up at the jumbotron to see what happened. I know I ran into the referee but I want to see with how much force. After that, I go straight up to the official to apologize and tell him it wasn’t on purpose. I apologized several times to the linesman.”
“I just tried to move forward [when I left the bench]; I went straight forward the whole time. You can debate whether I should have seen him, absolutely, but I didn’t.”
Timrå’s sporting director Kimmo Kapanen says the team plans to appeal the suspension.
This is the second player-on-official incident this season in the SHL. Skellefteå’s Filip Sandberg was suspended one game for hitting linesman Andreas Svensson with his stick.