Peter Forsberg upset Canadians will ref men's hockey final
All 4 officials for Sochi gold medal game are Canadian
SOCHI — The Swedish Olympic team does not share the sentiments of fellow countryman Peter Forsberg who was upset that all four officials for the 2014 gold-medal final will be from Canada.
"Vilket jävla skämt!" was the headline on the website for Swedish newspaper, Aftonbladet, after it was announced that Canadian referees Brad Meier and Kelly Sutherland, as well as linesmen Derek Amell and Greg Devorski, were assigned to work the final.
The headline was a text from Forsberg that when translated read, "What a f-----g joke."
Meier is a dual Canada-United States citizen. He was born in Dayton, Ohio when his father Ron was playing minor pro there for the old IHL Dayton Gems, but he was raised in Saskatoon and he now lives with his family in Calgary.
Both Canada and Sweden team officials have to sign off on game-official assignments for the final. The Swedish players were not as concerned as Forsberg, a professional hockey player from Sweden who retired from the National Hockey League in 2011.
"I think most referees over there [in the NHL] are Canadian, too," Swedish defenceman Erik Karlsson said. "They probably support Montreal [Canadiens] or Toronto [Maple Leafs], but they don't make any difference there.
"I could care less about what the referees do. As you saw yesterday, we had two power plays, Finland had a lot and we still won the game. It's nothing we can control and neither can Canada."
In Vancouver four years ago, Canadians Bill McCreary and Dan O'Halloran were the referees, Canadian linesman Jean Morin was joined by Stefan Fonselius of Finland.
"We are used to having referees from USA and Canada in the NHL," Swedish captain Niklas Kronwall said. "We know their standards so I think it's easier for us too if the referees are from there."
Every player in Sunday's gold medal final plays in the NHL with the exception of veteran Swedish forward Jimmie Ericsson, who plays for Skelleftea AIK in the Swedish Elite League.