Former NHL goalie Kasimir Kaskisuo was suspended five games by the Swedish Hockey League after throwing a water bottle and hitting a referee in the back of the head during a game last week, his team announced Friday.
Leksands IF confirmed that Kaskisuo was suspended five games and fined the equivalent of $2,271 following the SHL’s Disciplinary Board hearing, which found that his actions in Thursday’s game against HV71 violated the league’s rules of conduct.
The incident happened immediately after the final whistle of the 3-2 overtime loss. Videos on social media showed a frustrated Kaskisuo launching his water bottle at a referee.
“All forms of improper body contact against a referee or other official must be punished with game misconduct on the ice (Rule 40.1) and reported to the disciplinary board. The footage shows that Kasimir Kaskisuo picks up his water bottle after the final whistle and throws it at the referee, who is some distance away with his back to Kasimir Kaskisuo,” the Disciplinary Board said in its decision.
“The bottle also hits the referee’s head. Kaskisuo shall be punished for physical abuse of officials and shall lead to a suspension in accordance with the decision above. Kasimir Kaskisuo must also pay a fine in the amount stated in the decision.”
The SHL’s Disciplinary Board said that Kaskisuo’s outburst met the following criteria resulting in the suspension: “The action is fully deliberate, sensational and of course inappropriate, even if the action itself does not involve a high risk of injury.”
Kaskisuo said after the game that he let his frustrations get the best of him and was “embarrassed” by his actions.
“After an obvious too many men on the ice and/or offside in the same situation, I let in a poor goal in an important loss, and my emotions and frustration took over,” he said via ScoutingtheRefs.com.
“As an athlete on the highest level, I should handle these things in another way. In this case I didn’t and for that I’m very sorry and feel embarrassed about it. I apologize to the referee, my teammates, the organization and the fans.”
Kaskisuo, 29, signed a two-way contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2016 and made his NHL debut in 2019 in a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Finnish hockey player went on to sign a one-year, two-way contract with the Nashville Predators in 2020 before signing a two-year contract with Leksands the following season.