Team USA’s chances of getting back into the medals at the World Junior tournament took a hit on Monday as the IIHF announced it would uphold forward Stefan Noesen’s 10-game suspension from the Ontario Hockey League.
Noesen, 19, was Ottawa’s first-round selection (21st overall) at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft and pegged to be a key member of the American team for the upcoming tournament in Ufa, Russia.
Just one problem — on Dec. 8, Noesen was suspended 10 games for charging while playing for OHL Plymouth.
He’s since served three of the 10 games but, with the OHL on holiday break from Dec. 15-27, his suspension will still be ongoing when the WJC tourney begins on Dec. 26.
IIHF bylaws note that “player suspensions will apply to participation in both ice hockey and In-line hockey competitions irrespective of the competition in which the offense giving rise to the suspension occurred.”
Noesen was one of four Americans taken in the first round of the ’11 draft — J.T. Miller, Connor Murphy and Tyler Biggs were the others — and has been a solid contributor for the Whalers this season, leading the team in goals (17) while posting 26 points in 26 games.
The U.S. failed to medal at last year’s tournament and was dropped to the relegation round for the first time since 1999.
Taylor Hall is sick and reportedly “doubtful” for tonight’s game in Dallas.
Hall did not skate with the Oilers this morning. If he can’t play, Edmonton’s top two lines against the Stars could feature Ryan Nugent-Hopkins between wingers Teddy Purcell and Benoit Pouliot, followed by Connor McDavid centering Lauri Korpikoski and Nail Yakupov.
The Oilers — forced to start the season without top-six winger Jordan Eberle — have scored just once in their first two games, losing 3-1 in St. Louis and 2-0 in Nashville.
Edmonton returns home after tonight’s contest to play St. Louis on Thursday. Then it’s back out on the road for games against Calgary and Vancouver.
Buffalo has put blueliner Matt Donovan on waivers, per Sportsnet.
Donovan, 25, signed a one-year deal with the Sabres on the opening day of free agency after spending his entire professional career with the Isles organization.
The fact he’s being waived isn’t a huge shock. Donovan failed to draw into a single Sabres game this year despite a whittled-down blueline; Jake McCabe, recently called up from AHL Rochester, drew into the lineup for Monday’s win over Columbus at the expense of Carlo Colaiacovo, who played the first two games of the year.
The fact both McCabe and Colaiacovo were ahead on the depth chart didn’t bode well for Donovan. Today’s move could also suggest that Zach Bogosian, who hasn’t played this year due to injury, is ready to return.