Maxim Samartsev was also suspended from matches. All because of a high-profile interview. Before the start of the 2008/09 season, which was the first in the history of the KHL, there were no signs of trouble for SKA. The notorious Igor Larionov came to the club’s management. And goaltender Robert Ash and three-time Stanley Cup winner Sergey Brylin, who joined in the offseason, were called upon to help the already rich in star names team to reach at least the playoff finals. At least, this is the task that the management set for the players before the start of the season. However, from the very beginning, everything did not go according to plan. The regular season for Barry Smith’s team began with two defeats in matches with Magnitogorsk and Salavat Yulaev. The victories over Traktor and Amur slightly reduced the degree of tension in the ranks of the fans and the leadership of the St. Petersburg club, but they did not have a significant impact on the frightening trend: in the first 10 meetings, SKA suffered 7 defeats. In such a situation, usually the leaders of the club take everything into their own hands: the most experienced players hold meetings without coaches, organize rallies in bars, and resort to other methods proven over the years. But the main star of the club from the banks of the Neva, Maxim Sushinsky, having probably previously tried all of the above methods of influencing the team in crisis, decided to shake up the club with the help of a scandalous interview. The source of the conversation with the star forward is no longer on the network, but it is known for certain that in it Sushinsky rather harshly went over the SKA head coach and club breeders. Maxim was dissatisfied with the constant reshuffling of links and the dubious personnel policy of the club. According to the Su-33, as the fans often called the striker, the St. Petersburg club failed in the selection work in the offseason. Sushinsky also said that his team shows uninteresting hockey, and in the place of the fans, he would not want to go to her games.Yuri Kuzmin, photo.khl.ruImmediately after the publication of the interview, it had the effect of an exploding bomb – the situation in which the main star of the club in such a frank manner shares his thoughts about the game of his team is extremely atypical for Russian hockey. At first, the SKA leadership did not take any action against the striker. At a certain moment, I even got the impression that Maxim’s bright speech would completely go unnoticed by the bosses of the St. Petersburg club. But no: a few days after the publication of the interview, Sushinsky was announced that he was suspended from games and training. “They told me about this when I got on the bus with the team to leave for training. Head coach Barry Smith came into the salon and said that I could pack my things and go home. He gave no reason for this decision. I only know that the leadership of the KHL suspended me for two championship games. But there is nothing seditious in my interview. I am sure that the conflict began only because it was Sushinsky who gave the interview. If it had been someone else in my place, the interview would not have even noticed it. If there are any sharp moments, then only those that the journalist himself, who interviewed, speaks about. But this is not my direct speech, ”said the protagonist of the scandal. Surprisingly, Barry Smith himself reacted adequately to the controversial interview of his player and explained that his removal was the will of the highest ranks of the club. The coach made it clear that Sushinsky had every right to express his opinion in the press. Moreover, Smith suggested that Maxim’s words could become additional motivation for SKA.Vladimir Bezzubov, photo.khl.ruImmediately after the publication of information about the suspension of the Su-33 from training and matches of St. Petersburg, offers from other clubs rained down on the player’s agent. In particular, there were rumors of interest in the forward from Severstal and Avangard, which included Jaromir Jagr in those years, Sushinsky’s longtime partner. “As I promised, we analyzed Sushinsky’s interview after the team returned from away matches. Today we have decided to temporarily suspend Maxim from participation in matches for SKA due to violation of ethics and contractual obligations. The issue of Sushinsky’s continuation of his career in SKA, as well as in other KHL clubs, will be resolved within the next few days. For now, he’s just retired. I speak about this not only as the president of the league, but also express the opinion of a number of other club leaders: such actions are unacceptable. Sushinsky violated ethics not only in relation to his club, but also in relation to the league. Anyone who reads this interview will easily understand what exactly the player had no right to say. The contract of any player clearly states what statements are unacceptable in relation to the club. Hearing such things from the lips of a world champion was doubly regrettable. Both the club and the league will report on the measures taken separately. This will be done publicly so that everyone understands what the title of a professional athlete obliges to do, ”said Alexander Medvedev, president of the KHL and SKA.Alexander Mysyakin, Sport24It seemed that the conflict between the player and the club would continue for a very long time. However, Sushinsky took a step forward and admitted he was wrong – the forward apologized to the club’s leaders and regretted that he had expressed all his claims not in a personal conversation with the management or coaching staff, but in the press. In response to this action of the Su-33, the head of the SKA Alexander Medvedev said that the conflict can be considered completely settled. And by the next match, Maxim returned to the squad. Of course, for a hockey player, such a scandal could not pass without a trace: in addition to a two-match disqualification imposed by the league for violating the laws of corporate ethics, Sushinsky also received an impressive fine. However, the striker achieved the main thing – the results of the team went uphill, and at the end of September SKA got out of the crisis, having issued a winning streak of 6 matches.