Colorado Avalanche and Swedish legend Peter Forsberg didn't mince words when it came to what he thought about Canadian referees working Sunday's gold medal game between Sweden and Canada.
"What a f___ing joke!" the seven-time All-Star said to Swedish reporters, calling the selection of officials Kelly Sutherland, Brad Meier, Greg Devorski and Derek Amell "comedy at its highest level."
Referees Sutherland and linesmen Devorski and Amell are Canadian, while referee Meier is an American who makes his home in Calgary.
Not all Swedes are seemingly as upset as Forsberg.
Veteran Swedish defenceman Niklas Kronwall of the Detroit Red Wings believes that both teams can benefit from North American officials.
"We are used to having referees from USA and Canada in the NHL," said Kronwall. "We know their standards so I think it's easier for us too if the referees are from there."
Former Norris Trophy winner and Ottawa Senators standout Erik Karlsson agreed with his fellow blueliner.
"I think most referees over there [in the National Hockey League] are Canadian, too," said Karlsson. "They probably support Montreal or Toronto, but they don't make any difference there. I couldn't care less about what the referees do. As you saw yesterday, we had two power plays, Finland had a lot, and we still won the game. It's nothing we can control and neither can Canada."
IIHF officiating manager Konstantin Komissarov later confirmed the evaluation process for tournament officials and why that quartet was selected to work the final.
"The main factor of the selection of these officials has most of all to do with their experience officiating in high-level competitions," said Komissarov on Saturday. "These include Stanley Cup playoffs, World Championship competitions, and Olympic competitions."
Komissarov stressed that an official's nationality doesn't play into the process.
"Their nationalities aren't considered as factors nor should they be, we want the best officials working the medal games," he said. "We are fully confident that with their experience and professionalism these officials will do their job well and preserve the integrity of the game."
The gold medal game between Canada and Sweden can be seen on TSN, streamed online and heard on TSN Radio on Sunday morning at 7am et/4am pt.