Jackets GM Howson defends Jenner’s controversial hit

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Columbus GM Scott Howson has jumped to the defense of prized prospect Boone Jenner.

“It was not a malicious hit,” Howson said of the check Jenner put on Swedish defenseman Jesper Pettersson, now out of the WJC tourney with a dislocated shoulder and fractured wrist.

“It was a little late.”

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Jenner was assessed a five-minute charging major and game misconduct for the hit, which was also defended by Canadian head coach Steve Spott.

Ultimately, our feeling is [the hit] was shoulder-to-shoulder,” Spott said. “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.”

The hit will reportedly be reviewed by the IIHF on Monday with a ruling coming by Tuesday.

It’ll be interesting to see if Jenner’s reputation plays a role any upcoming decision. This is his second disciplinary incident in as many years — at the 2011 tourney, he was was suspended for the bronze medal game after spearing a Russian player in a semifinal loss.

It should also be noted that Team Sweden GM Tommy Boustedt was livid following the Pettersson hit, saying Jenner’s intent was to injure.