Ziat Paigin (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Ziat Paigin has been suspended for two international games by the governing body for an incident that occurred at the end of the world juniors in Toronto. Paigin claims it was a tradition; the IIHF calls shenanigans on him.
All news releases should be written with the candor that the International Ice Hockey Federation displayed in its ruling against a Russian world junior defenseman.
Ziat Paigin, a towering 6-foot-6 rearguard with the KHL's Ak Bars Kazan, has been suspended for two international games by the IIHF for throwing his stick into the crowd in the wake of Canada's thrilling 6-5 victory in the gold-medal game of the 2015 world juniors in Toronto.
In a written statement to the IIHF, Paigin claimed that he tossed his twig into the crowd as a gesture of appreciation to Russian fans in what he called an "existing tradition."
But the IIHF wasn't buying it and smacked down the talented blueliner in its rebuttal:
"There is no sign whatsoever in the player’s gestures or face during and after the action that would allow such an interpretation; the only explanation is that the player acted out of frustration.
"The Deciding Panel wants to point out that – at least in international games – there is no 'tradition' of throwing sticks into the stands as a gesture of appreciation of the fan’s support and that such a 'tradition' could not be tolerated and is not tolerated by the IIHF."
As you can see from the video below, it's hard to disagree with the IIHF's conclusion here. That dude does not appear to be in an appreciative mood.