An injury-causing late hit by rugged centre Boone Jenner, who was suspended during last season's world junior championship, might have further clouded Canada's decisions on its final roster.
The 19-year-old Columbus Blue Jackets was probably Canada's best forward on the ice for much of the first two periods of the final pre-competition game against Team Sweden in Helsinki on Saturday. Midway through that second period, Jenner received a charging major/game misconduct for a late hit on Jesper Pettersson that put the Swedish defenceman out of the game (at least) with reportedly broken ribs. Pettersson had just made a first pass from the right-wing corner of his defensive zone when Jenner, a physical power forward, buried him into the boards.
Bob McKenzie of TSN noted any late check "in excess of half a second is a penalty in any league ... this was 30 digital frames after the puck was gone, which is almost a full second." On top of it, Petterson was injured, which could also factor into the IIHF's decision.
The timing could mean that Canada will have to submit its final roster before knowing Jenner's status for at least the first two games vs. Germany and Slovakia on Dec. 26 and 28.
As it's understood, teams first submit their roster for the IIHF world U20 championship on Dec. 25. The tournament directorate then meets to discuss various issues, which could include supplemental discipline from any pre-competition games.
Pettersson, as diligently reported by TSN reporter Mark Masters, was "in agony" as he was stretchered off the ice and wheeled to an ambulance.
Jesper Pettersson loaded into the ambulance; was in agony; tough scene yfrog.com/kla3lbvj
— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) December 22, 2012
Jenner, a Jackets second-rounder who deserved to be selected much higher in the 2011 draft, cracked Team Canada's lineup last season as an energy player who is also sharp at winning faceoffs. He levelled Finland's Olli Määttä with a blindside check in the tournament opener that left the defenceman with a concussion. Jenner's suspension came for spearing Russia's Evgeny Kuznetsov during the semifinal game.
It stands to reason Jenner, even if suspended for the first two games or the entire preliminary round of the tournament, would be deemed too valuable to leave off the roster. That seems moot since there is probably little way Canada can guesstimate about a suspension and its duration before the roster has to be finalized.
Discipline has been an issue in Canada's pre-competition games. It took 16 minor penalties through five periods of exhibition hockey vs. Finland and Sweden.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet.