Today was meant to have been the first full day of training camp for the future 2013 World Junior Championship gold medal-winning United States of America, a day that symbolically stands as the start of the happiest time of year for every good person on Earth (i.e. those born and living within American borders).
We wore our USA Hockey jerseys, t-shirts, hats, pants, and underwear in anticipation of this wonderful day, but awoke to news that Hockey Canada had already — and predictably — worked its evil and noxious tendrils in the international hockey community to preemptively try to ruin the occasion.
As you might expect from an organization as deeply corrupt and anti-American as the International Ice Hockey Federation, its spineless, soulless, heartless officials upheld a 10-game OHL suspension against Stefan Noesen, a proud and noble Texas native who was primed to be a second-line right wing for the Red, White, and Blue in its glorious run to more gold. The move prevents him from playing in the World Junior tournament, and leaves the U.S. with just four right wings left in camp.
This dastardly decision comes just days after it let Canadian nogoodnik Jonathan Huberdeau skate (quite literally) on a four-game suspension from the QMJHL, which is what really piqued our interest.
To unbiased observers like us, it’s difficult to imagine where the IIHF gets off letting Huberdeau compete in this tournament while denying a patriot like Noesen his God-given right to do the same. Or, at least it would be, if we weren’t keen enough observers of the international game to see the puppeteer working the strings.
Let’s review the basic facts, shall we? Huberdeau picked up an automatic one-game suspension for instigating a fight, and another three games for assaulting an official who was trying to restrain him, like the animal he is, from attacking another player on the ice. If this had happened in America, and not a lawless hellhole like Nova Scotia, he would very rightly be in jail, breaking rocks (though there would likely be some debate as to whether this constitutes cruel and unusual punishment, given that the things he would have to break are also what fills every Canadian-born CHL player’s head. It’s for better legal minds than ours to decide, though, as we’ve read the Constitution a mere 32,018 times between us).
Meanwhile, in the course of a regular game, Noesen finished his check against a gutless Canadian opponent, and may or may not have left his feet in doing so. The jury is still very much out on that. We don’t see why that warrants an additional 250 percent tacked onto the suspension, unless…
“Hmm, it seems that the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Ontario Hockey League are both located in Canada. Canadians getting preferential treatment in a Canadian junior hockey league? Why, we could never have imagined such a thing,” is a thing we would say if we were as blindly naïve as the average Canadian idiot.
Now, it has been pointed out to us that the difference here is that Huberdeau’s suspension was set to expire prior to the start of the World Junior tournament, while Noesen’s was not, and that, therefore, is why he — a borderline criminal who has shown no compunction about his vicious WWE-style assault on a hapless linesman — gets to participate. Which is almost logical. (Or at least, reaches the closest crude approximation of logic a Canadian can muster.)
But let’s call this as any reasonable person would see it: The QMJHL gave Huberdeau a slap on the wrist knowing that, had it given out an equitable sentence, he would have missed the World Junior tournament. Meanwhile, the OHL clearly levied its travesty of a suspension against Noesen knowing that it would get him suspended for the entirety same. It’s so easy, and plain to see, an Albertan could figure it out.
The joke, however, is on Hockey Canada, the IIHF, and every other country dumb enough to stand in America’s way, however. While Noesen would clearly be the best player on Canada’s roster (or Russia’s or Finland’s or Sweden’s, etc.), he was a cog in the machine. Just as a great American like Eli Whitney first pioneered the use of interchangeable parts, so too does USA Hockey subscribe to that same idea today. Noesen is important, but not all-important. America will prosper, as it usually does, in the face of this adversity.
But let this be a lesson to all American-born players in the CHL: These clods are out to get you at every turn for the betterment of their own pathetic league and domestic players, and leaving your crummy team in Horsefly, British Columbia, is the best decision you will ever make in your life.