USA’s Justin Abdelkader and Kazakhstan’s Nikolai Antropov will be suspended from their teams respective tournaments at the the 2015 IIHF World Championships following end of the year reviews by the International Ice Hockey Federation.
Team USA forward Justin Abdelkader was suspended three games for a check to the head of Czech player Vladimir Sobotka during the USA/Czech Republic quarter-final contest back on May 22nd. Abdelkader was originally assessed a major penalty and game misconduct penalty for charging while Sobotka was unable to return to the tournament. The hit landed the Detroit Red Wings forward, who had a solid tournament for the Americans with four points in seven games, a three game ban from the 2015 World Championships. which happen to be in Sobotka’s home country of the Czech Republic.
Antropov, a former NHLer, will be suspended for two games after checking Swiss forward Kevin Romy in the head with a similar dangerous act to Abdelkader. Antropov was assessed a match penalty by the game officials and served an automatic one-game suspension in his team’s last game against Finland, giving Antropov a total three game suspension. His Kazakhstan team was relegated this past year despite a couple of bright moments during the 2014 edition of the tournament and will have to compete in Division IA next year with fellow demoted country Italy.
Additionally, the IIHF announced four other suspensions for players at different levels. Kevin Gronlund of Luxembourg was suspended one game at the 2015 Division III World Championships for head-butting an opponent in the game against Hong Kong. At the junior level, Austrian player Clemens Paulweber and Polish player Denis Kuras were suspended one game each after engaging in a fight during the 2014 U18 Division IB Championships and will serve one game bans for next year. Finally, Korean player Woonjae Choi was suspended one game for abuse of an official and unsportsmanlike conduct during the U18 World’s and will need to serve it in 2015 if he does make the team once again.
Follow me on twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.