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Swedish league player Eric Przepiorka punches coach, gets promotion, sparks conspiracy theory

Harrison Mooney
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Player punches coach (via @scandhock)

This is the bench of Olofström IK, a team in Swedish's third-tier Division 1. Note the man in dress pants, down on his knees. That's coach Tim Brithén, moments after one of his forwards, Eric Przepiorka, punched him in the face.

What was Przepiorka's reasoning for the assault? Coach Brithén removed him from the power play in a preseason game. It would appear he also said later that sitting at the bench was "[expletive] boring."

Because preseason coach-punchers never seem to make the cut, Przepiorka's been cut from the team. From Euro Hockey:

Eric Przepiorka was the big star in Olofström IK a club in the Swedish Division 1 (third tier). But after hitting his in own coach Tim Brithén during a preseason game versus Örebro on Saturday Przepiorka was released by his club.  The reason for the attack is said to be that "Prez" was furious after not getting enough ice time on the power play.

"We don't really have anything to say about the situation more than that the coach so close to sacred you can be in a team. There are limits for what you can do. We as a club distances ourself from this and the situation would have been impossible", manager Simon Skoog told Swedish hockey blog MrMadhawk.se about the decision to release Eric Przepiorka from his contract.

But don't feel too bad for Przepiorka. He won't be without a team long, as he's rumoured to be joining Swedish club Asplöven of HockeyAllsvenskan, the second-tier league. Asplöven hasn't confirmed the signing, but reliable Swedish blog Mr. Madhawk is reporting it.

Yes, you read that right. For punching out his coach, Eric Przepiorka will move up a league.

Did he know that was going to happen?

It's a theory.

When Przepiorka was a star with Asplöven two years back, putting up 73 points in a season, they were a third-tier team along with Olofström IK. And they were still a third-tier team when Przepiorka signed with Olofström IK last season.

But this summer, on June 27, 2012, second-tier team Borås HC was relegated to the third-tier for economic reasons, and Asplöven was called upon to replace them in HockeyAllsvenskan.

Needless to say, moving up a tier means you might need to beef up your roster a touch, and bringing back a skilled player the franchise is familiar with in Przepiorka is one way to do that.

But gee, how to get Przepiorka out of his contract?

The conspiracy theory is making the rounds in Sweden, and if it doesn't seem plausible to you, ask yourself how much more believable it is that a player would punch out his coach over ice time in a preseason game.

Anyway. Here's Przepiorka in Asplöven red and black, scoring a shootout goal using the move Mikhail Grabovski made famous.

s/t to 6th Sens and Jon Haggqvist.

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