Gratitude is rather fleeting in Finland, despite leading his team to a sliver medal in the recent World Cup of Hockey. Raimo Summanen has been told to hand in his whistle and clipboard and take a hike.
Summanen was relieved of his duties as coach of the Finnish Hockey team today, apparently the victim of a power struggle between himself and the very players he coached. Stating that they wanted to calm down the inflamed situation surrounding the A team, Kalervo Kummola announced Summanen’s departure.
There were reports of discord in the Finnish line up going back to the training camps of the World Cup, things apparently coming to a head when Janne Niinimaa left the team midway through the tourney, weary of being Summanen’s whipping post.
Summanen declared that he had wished to stay with the National team and feels that he was not provided with the proper backing to make the changes that he had been hired to make.
Compared in some Finnish circles as the Baltic equivalent to Mike Keenan, Summanen was apparently a strict disciplinarian with a bit of a mean streak which the unfortunate Niinimaa apparently felt too often.
The mid tourney revolt didn’t seem to affect the team on the ice as they went through the tournament undefeated until the final game against Canada. Despite the success, the Finns have decided that a happy shiny dressing room is far more desirable than the risk of Mutiny at the rink!