Heading into the 2013 World Junior tournament, Team Canada had a boon to ask of the IIHF- namely, to keep Boone.
But such will not be the case after Canadian forward Boone Jenner received a three game suspension from the IIHF Monday for his hit on Swedish defenseman Jesper Pettersson during an exhibition game on December 22nd. The hit earned Jenner a five minute major and a game misconduct, and sent Pettersson from the ice on a stretcher.
According to the IIHF Disciplinary Panel, Jenner was deemed to have intentionally gone after Petterrson while having ample time to avoid him, and Pettersson suffering a broken wrist and dislocated shoulder only further cemented Jenner's fate. Jenner will miss Canada's games against Germany, Slovakia, and the United States.
After a review of the tape, Jenner's hit is late without question. As TSN's Bob McKenzie clarified, the NHL deems a hit to be late when contact is made after more than a half-second has passed after the puck is released. Jenner's hit spanned approximately 30 digital frames, almost a full second.
As Pettersson came around the net in his own zone, he sent a diagonal cross zone pass towards the left point, releasing it at the bottom of the right face-off circle. Jenner was at the top of the face-off circle and finished his hit. While the hit was certainly late, was it glaringly dangerous? Did it send Pettersson head first into a wall? Did it make direct contact to the head? The answer is no. In this instance, Jenner's only offense was an otherwise clean, square body check that happened to be late by half a second.
Canadian head coach Steve Spott said as much to the Canadian Press, arguing, "Ultimately, our feeling is the hit was shoulder-to-shoulder. If anything, maybe interference or a charge, but definitely not something that's worth suspending because although Boone is an aggressive player, he didn't target anybody's head and he didn't leave his feet."
You have to assume after watching the hit that Jenner is a victim of Pettersson's injuries, and more glaringly, his own reputation earned in last year's World Junior tournament.
Jenner, a second round pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2011, got attention in his last go-around with Team Canada on two occasions. In the tournament opener against Finland, Jenner caught defenseman Olli Maatta with his head down in the corner and landed a blind-side hit on the eventual Penguins' first-rounder. Maatta was knocked out of the tournament with a concussion.
Jenner received no discipline for that hit, but did get a lashing for his second offense, a spearing incident in the gold medal game against Russia. Trailing the Russians 5-1 late in the second period, Jenner caught an elbow from defenseman Ildar Isangulov on an open ice hit, which drew a penalty. Upon getting to his feet, Jenner jabbed his stick into the midsection of Capitals prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov, earning him a 5 minute major to nullify Canada's powerplay, a game misconduct, and a suspension for Canada's bronze medal game.
So while Jenner's hit on Pettersson was hardly a textbook example of a dirty hit, it was a textbook example of a late hit, and his brash style of play combined with Petersson's exit from tournament contention puts Jenner in street clothes until Canada faces host Russia on New Years Eve. The suspension feeds the already troubling trend for the Canadians in the early stages of tournament preparation.
Though Canada will send one of their more talented rosters in recent memory, discipline has been a concern through exhibition games against Finland and Sweden, with Team Canada racking up 34 minutes and penalties in two games. That's excluding 25 PIM for Jenner.
"The effort was great but again we’re taking too many penalties,” Spott told the Canadian Press. “That’s an area that we have to continue to improve at because we’re just putting our penalty killers on the ice way too much and there are some elite players that are sitting."
Jenner is in the midst of a breakout season in his fourth year with the OHL's Oshawa Generals, already with 27 goals and 47 points for Oshawa in 32 games. He also only has 30 penalty minutes. That's the Boone Jenner Canada hoped to have going into next week.
Hopefully, they'll have him by December 31st.