Some will argue it’s not enough, but Canada’s Joe Veleno was given a five-game suspension by the 2023 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Disciplinary Panel for stomping on the leg of Switzerland’s Nino Niederreiter, it was announced Sunday.
The Detroit Red Wing is playing for Team Canada at the World’s and during a sequence on the sideboards, lifted his skate and intentionally brought it down on the leg of Niederreiter in what many are calling one of the most disgusting plays in hockey in the last few years.
Evander Kane, who was on the unfortunate end of a skate cut to his wrist this season, was disgusted by the play and wrote on Twitter, “This is why fighting in Hockey is needed, it discourages ideas like this and helps police the game effectively. Disgusting play to watch. Especially after my injury this year. Embarrassing.” Kane wasn’t alone in thinking this way and what made matters worse is that Veleno didn’t get called for a penalty, but Niederreiter did as part of a later scrum in front of the net.
The IIHF released a statement saying he broke Rule 49 (kicking) and added:
Veleno will miss Canada’s upcoming 5 games, specifically, Game #48 (CAN v. NOR) of the 2023 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship on Tuesday 23 May 2023; the Canadian National Team’s quarter-final game of the 2023 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship on Thursday 25 May 2023, and either the Canadian National Team’s semi-final game and final game of the 2023 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship on Saturday 27 May 2023 and Sunday 28 May 2023, respectively if they qualify for these games.
Drafted 30th overall by the Detroit Red Wings in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, Veleno has 18 goals and 36 points in 152 career games. One has to wonder if this incident will carry over into the next season when the two find each other on the ice again in an NHL game.
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