The Russia national hockey team faces punishment from the International Ice Hockey Federation after players left the ice before the national anthem was played for the gold-medal winning Canadian team following the World Championship final in Prague.
After the Russians were routed 6–1 in the final, a majority of the team took off for the locker room before the trophy presentation and the playing of "O Canada."
IIHF president Rene Fasel said some sort of discipline is coming for the Russian national team and that he was “upset” by the behavior he saw from the team.
"Once we arrive back home after the world championships we will look into this question and we will get in touch with those in charge at the Russian Ice Hockey Federation," Fasel said in the statement to the TASS news agency.
“In the 29 world championships that I have had the honor of attending, this is the first time I have seen something like this. What the Russian team did was completely out of order,” he added. “On the ice during the game, anything can happen—collisions, fights. However, after its conclusion, respect to the opposition is always necessary."
Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said that he was ashamed of the team walking out on the anthem and said that the management of the national team and the president of the Russian Hockey Federation should have prevented the incident from happening.
“I believe that our hockey players, who left the ice early, did the wrong thing,” Mutko said. “The defeat must be accepted with dignity and the winner must be treated with respect.”
Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin, Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin, and Florida Panthers defenseman Dmitry Kulikov were among the Russian players who stayed on the ice during the anthem.
- Scooby Axson