Rtishev suspended
by Adam Steiss|30 DEC 2019
Russia will have to play its next game without Nikita Rtishev.
photo: Andrea Cardin / HHOF-IIHF Images
The IIHF has issued a one-game suspension to Russian forward Nikita Rtishev. 

Rtishev has been suspended due to a violation of IIHF Rule 142-Head Butting. He will miss Russia’s final preliminary round game against Germany.

The violation occurred at the end of the 2nd period of Russia’s game against the Unites States. Namely, right after the end of the second period, USA forward Oliver Wahlstrom and Russian forward Maxim Sorkin started to push each other around. Rtishev saw both players battling and skates towards them. He got involved by getting in between the players and grabbed Wahlstrom’s left shoulder. He then pushed Wahlstrom up against the boards while the officials tried to separate them. The officials managed to separate both players for a short while. However, both players approached each other again and both players’ heads ended up on eye-level and close to one another. Rtishev then made contact by moving his head forward and towards Wahlstrom’s head. This caused Wahlstrom’s helmet to be lifted up. Subsequently, the officials separated both players.  

Based on all facts ascertained, the Disciplinary Panel determined that Rtishev’s conduct after the conclusion of the second period was overly aggressive and irresponsible. It was clear that Rtishev intentionally directed his head towards Wahlstrom to make contact with his head. The fact that Rtishev’s actions did not directly endanger the physical integrity of Wahlstrom, does not prevent the application of Official Playing Rule 142 (Head-Butting) in this respect. Namely, Rtishev’s action of bringing his head forward and towards Wahlstrom fulfills the criteria of a Head-Butt as set out under Official Playing Rule 142 (Head-Butting), and warrants a one-game suspension. 

Rtishev will be eligible to return for Russia’s next game following the conclusion of the preliminary round.