At least Canada knows Boone Jenner's status before world junior championship rosters are set. A tournament that has started rather haltingly for Team Canada has taken another inauspicious turn. The projected checking-line centre, as was widely expected after his charging major/game misconduct against Sweden in a pre-competition game on Saturday, has been suspended for the first three games of the IIHF world U20 championship.
From Gord Miller:
BREAKING: Canada's Boone Jenner suspended three games by the IIHF after 5min charging penalty in WJ pre-tournament game vs Sweden. #2013WJC
— Gord Miller (@GMillerTSN) December 24, 2012
The upshot of it is that Canada is going to be one player short (at least) for the Dec. 30 game vs. Team USA. Jenner was probably a big part of the preliminary plans for that match.
I'm sure USA coaching staff little relieved Gaudreau/Grimaldi don't have to be matched up versus Jenner though. — Corey Pronman (@coreypronman) December 24, 2012
Now, should a roster change should be contemplated in the next 24 hours? One would be 40 bushels beyond bamboozled if Canada's brain trust would have the cojones to make a change. Asking a player to sit out three games and then be 100 per cent game-ready for the NYE clash vs. Russia that likely decides the bye to the Jan. 3 semifinal is pretty demanding. But coach Steve Spott and Co. can at least account for that in their preparation and, who knows, perhaps Jenner would have more in the tank later in the tournament. There is no knowing how a player who is airlifted in at the last minute would acclimatize himself to the tournament. Not only that, but Ufa, Russia, is not exactly an easy place to get to from Canada, especially during the holiday travel season.
Would whoever is at the top of the recall list among forwards — Hunter Shinkaruk? Daniel Catenacci? — be able to provide the same skillset Jenner could offer later in the tournament?
There is not much merit in debating the suspension. It was a late hit that resulted in an injury and the IIHF is very strict with its sanctions. Please don't be That Guy who says that would not get anything in the NHL; don't people watch the WJC because it's a break from the dump, chase and cycle tedium of the NHL?
Between the injury-induced Charles Hudon/Mark McNeill shuffle, right wing Brett Ritchie being banged up and Jenner being shelved, this tournament has started rather roughly for Canada. Going to Russia was never going to be an easy task. The unchecked aggression is an element that can be controlled. So far it has not been, but winning hockey teams have a way of checking themselves when there's something to be won.
Prior to Jenner's suspension coming down, Jack Todd noted Spott's spin put on the penalty problems has not been very endearing.
Instead of laying the blame squarely on his undisciplined players, Spott chose to whine about the refereeing in Finland.
“The quality of officiating (at the pre-tournament) has been below world-class standards and I think the Finnish federation has to address that,” the coach said. “These are sanctioned games and if you put less-than-qualified officials out on the ice, which we clearly had tonight, you’re putting players in a dangerous situation.”
Trouble is, if anyone was putting people in a dangerous situation, it was the Canadian team. I watched both games and I saw no problem whatsoever with the officiating. There were missed calls both ways, but that’s always the case. (Montreal Gazette)
Jenner's absence likely means the likes of McNeill, Boston Bruins-drafted wing Anthony Camara and Chicago Blackhawks-drafted centre Phillip Danault will take on more of a grinding role.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet.