Kontinental Hockey League Disciplinary Committee Chairman Valeri Kamensky had to give his thoughts on a strange situation that occured during the Omsk and Kazan game when Omsk coach Raimo Summanen was caught on camera showing the head referee his wallet.
The Omsk Avangard lost 2-0 to the Kazan Ak Bars and lost the series with a four games to one, concluding their season. During the game, Summanen had a disagreement with head referee Vyacheslav Bulanov. The incident showed an enraged Summanen, who seemed to offer some money to Bulanov. This caused KHL management condemnation and disciplinary proceedings.
“We will review this episode, given that it also appeared on the television screens,” Kamensky explained. “It is important to clearly understand to whom and what the coach really showed. Results are expected soon because we are interested in solving the situation as soon as possible.”
Summanen reacted very sharply to the Ak Bars’ the first goal, giving the referee a long series of gestures, then called the official to himself to discuss the situation. Bulanov listened to his arguments, but did not look like he was interested, and skated away, while the coach demonstratively pulled his wallet out of his jacket and waived it towards the official.
This is not the first time Summanen has approached referees. During a regular season game a misplaced penalty was given to one of his players. He called the official over for a similar chat to discuss why the call was made, after a brief discussion he refused to change his call and Summanen lost his mind, similarly pointing towards his pocket feeling the referee was bribed. The media exploded and claimed that it was misinterpretation. Hopefully this time they won’t try to deny the obvious, at least in the coach’s mind.
Summanen is a 53-year-old Finnish coach, who has been working with Omsk’s team for a while. The regular season for Omsk was solid, as the team attained a 4th place finish in the conference. A 2nd round exit, however, will leave the team thinking of what could have been. Omsk had scored only one goal in each of their last four games of the series.
The Conference Semifinals concluded with all series going just five games each. This will bring a week-long break, with the intention of starting the Conference Finals on March 26th.
The league announced that no changes will be made to accelerate the playoffs, due to a busy schedule for the respective arenas and the intention of the teams that have qualified to rest players.
For Summanen’s team, it will have to wait until next spring.