Swedish coach ‘furious’ about Backstrom ban, claims IOC ‘made things up’


Swedish coach Par Marts was livid following a 3-0 loss to Canada in the gold medal final, but it wasn’t about the result.

Marts took direct aim at the IOC after Swedish center Nicklas Backstrom was declared ineligible to play due to taking a banned substance, suggesting the entire situation was “made up.”

“I think IOC has made things up here,” Marts said, per “It sucks.”

Marts wasn’t done there.

“I’m furious that it can happen in this damned way,” he said, per Swedish news outlets TT/SVT. “It’s inconceivable that it can happen. We’re all angry that we weren’t able to compete with a full squad.”

Backstrom, 26, was apparently banned due to an issue with allergy medicine he’s been taking daily for the last seven years — including at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver — according to a Swedish team doctor. The Capitals center had been a vital contributor leading up to the gold medal game, notching four assists through five games while averaging over 18 minutes per night. What’s more, Backstrom’s presence was crucial as Sweden had lost a pair of centers — Henrik Zetterberg, who was lost during the tournament, and Henrik Sedin, who was removed from the team just prior to the start of the Games.

Marts told reporters he only found out about the Backstrom ruling two hours prior to puck drop, and was angry about the timing, noting that Backstrom was tested Friday but notified of the results on Sunday.

As such, there was little surprise Marts was so emotional about losing Backstrom, acknowledging it did have an impact on his team.

“Backstrom, what happened with him, that affected us,” he said. “It’s only human beings sitting in there.”

Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension

Torres hit
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What will Raffi Torres get this time?

The 33-year-old forward that has become known primarily for his controversial hits has once again put himself in the sights of the NHL’s Department of Players Safety. They confirmed that he was offered an in-person hearing following his hit on Jakub Silfverberg Saturday night. He declined the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face, but the offer itself is an important detail because it gives the league the option to suspend him for more than five games.

It certainly seems like the stage is set for a lengthy suspension. For one thing, Torres is a repeat offender who once was banned from 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa in 2012, although it was later reduced to 21 contests after an appeal. The NHL found that Torres was guilty of breaking three rules for that hit; namely interference, charging, and illegally hitting the head. The NHL is reviewing Torres’ latest incident for the same three violations.

You can see the hit below:

And here it is slowed down:

Torres got a match penalty and Silfverberg left the game. Fortunately, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have returned, but was kept out for precautionary reasons.

Flames acquire Freddie Hamilton, brother of Dougie

Freddie Hamilton
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Roughly three months after acquiring Dougie Hamilton, the Calgary Flames have brought his brother on board too.

Freddie Hamilton was pried away from the Colorado Avalanche for the cost a 2016 conditional seventh-round draft pick, per the Avalanche’s website. The Flames announced that he will report to AHL Stockton.

Freddie, who is the older of the two at 23, is a center that excelled offensively in the OHL and has chipped in at the AHL level. However, he has just one point in 29 contests with Colorado and the San Jose Sharks.

This is obviously not a big trade, but perhaps Freddie will eventually become a solid member of the Flames’ supporting cast. If nothing else, it didn’t cost Calgary much to reunite the brothers. The duo previously played together with the Niagara IceDogs.