Alex Edler, the world’s unlikeliest villain, suspended for two international games

Team Sweden eliminated Team Canada from the quarterfinals at the World Hockey Championships Thursday, winning in a shootout despite ignoring years and years of evidence that Daniel and Henrik Sedin should not be used in such situations. Both twins missed on their attempts, and yet, somehow, Team Canada still found a way to lose. That’s incredible.

Anyway. With the loss, Dan Hamhuis’s World Championships are officially over.

But so too are Alex Edler’s. While the rest of his brethren from the tournament’s host nation will move on to the semifinals versus Finland — the archnemesis with which they share the weirdly suggestive-looking Scandinavian peninsula – Edler has been suspended for the remainder of the tournament after his kneeing incident with Team Canada captain Eric Staal.

Sadly, the IIHF doesn’t do suspension videos. This might have upset us at some point in the past, but after two seasons of Brendan Shanahan raising more questions than he answers with his short films, we’re okay. (Plus, do we really want European suspension videos? Sure, they’d be much more artistic, with symbolism, character development and mise-en-scène, but they’d also be subtitled, and reading is the worst.

So here’s their written explanation.

After reviewing the video evidence and the respective reports, including the Game Supervisor Report, the Referee Supervisor Report, the verbal medical report and the report from the hearing with the player, the panel has determined that Edler should have been penalized with a match penalty as he was in clear violation of the playing rule 536b (Kneeing).

On the play, Edler was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct.

The disciplinary panel deemed Edler’s action as reckless, dangerous and that it was in disregard to the vulnerability of his opponent and for that he must be held accountable.

Tough break for Edler, but he got off extremely lucky. For one thing, he’s not the one who has a long rehab ahead of him.

For another, last season in the NHL, Kevin Porter was suspended four games for a similar hit on David Booth, coming a long way to make a brutal, injurious hit. I doubt it was malicious, because I’m not sure Edler is ever present enough to be malicious, but it was the most reckless thing I’ve ever seen him do.

If Edler had made this hit in the NHL, considering he’s now a repeat offender under the collective bargaining agreement (and he hit a big-time star), it’s reasonable to wonder if Edler might have been flown to New York to give the DOPS the option of suspending him for five games or more.

As it stands, Edler will only miss two: the match with Finland, and well as the gold or bronze medal game that follows. But that’s it. His next foray into international play will likely be at the Sochi Olympics, and he’ll be available for every game. He can breathe a sigh of relief over that.

In the end, there are a lot of different ways to attest to the fact that, fifth and final Northwest Division title notwithstanding, this wasn’t a very good year for the Canucks. But here’s the one that smacks my gob the most: Alex Edler was suspended twice this year.

Alex Edler. The guy best known for napping. The All-Star defenceman so nondescript that, even if you close your eyes and concentrate really hard, you probably can’t imagine what he sounds like when he speaks, and if you google his last name and “soft-spoken Swede”, you get nearly 10,000 results. This guy developed a reputation as a bad person this year. He went heel. It’s unbelievable.

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  1. Warpstone
    May 17, 2013

    Remember his 2011 game 7 hit on an icing call? Edler is just an odd-duck. He doesn’t seem nasty, but he still has some appalling brain-farts.

    It’s a terrible injury for Staal. Whenever I see a knee-on-knee like that I always recall Cam Neely and cringe.

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  2. Naturalmystic
    May 17, 2013

    I was hoping for a 10 game suspension. Team Canada needs all the help it can get in Sochi.

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  3. Wetcoaster
    May 17, 2013

    Was Edler just making his bones in order to join Hansen’s club of malicious Vikings?

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  4. Du-oh!
    May 17, 2013

    Edler’s hit was just another one of those “what the hell was Edler doing?” moments. Too bad for Eric Staal that it came at the cost of his knee.

    Even giving Edler the benefit of the doubt as to not having any ill intentions, he deserved to get suspended.

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  5. Michael
    May 19, 2013

    In his spare time he cooks meth.

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  6. Lenhart
    May 19, 2013

    I´ve been reading some of the earlier comments about Edlers “hit” to Staal in different medias and decided that I never will be a Vancouver fan anymore. Since you lost the final to Boston – where I think the refeeres where terrible- You always tries to find guys in your own team to pick on. When the team doesen´t play well it´s always someone to blame.
    This time I can hear a lot of trashtalk against Edler and suppose it will continue until he leaves the team. Similar things I see about the Twins and and a lot of other players inclusive the manager and so on. I do really belive that the moral of this team has been infected by this. Edler made a terrible misstake but i´m sure it was´ent intended. When you look at the hit on a camera in a different angle you can see that Edler tries to avoid it just before the accident. Still, he´s responsible for the outcome and deserves a punishment (not a harder one than that what getzlaf got last year, that one was with intention and only luck saved the slovak from being badly hurt).
    I don´t mean that you should ignore if one of your players behaves like a goon, but it must certainly be important that the players in the team feels that they not gets judged without a “trial”. Do you want to win the cup you have to get players who will fight with a lot of compasion for the team, like the Swiss team doing right now. not like you and for example Tortella in Rangers (with Hagelin).
    Just now a would prefer the Twins to leave the Canucks and play for supporters who could help them to deliver.
    My experience is that with selfconfidence and a heart for the club you grows as a player. Just Think about how you will get that!

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  7. obituary mambo
    May 19, 2013

    How disappointing. Alex Edler is not a dirty player, but anyone unfamiliar with his play wouldn’t know that from the horrific kneeing penalty he dished out. A hit which was completely out of character. What was he thinking?

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  8. Justin
    May 20, 2013

    Dear IIHF, please suspend all of our players for the rest of the tournament. The last thing I’d want is for my captain to be hurt playing a tournament that 7 people in North America watch.

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