Detroit Red Wings and Team Canada forward Joe Veleno has been suspended five games by the IIHF after a dangerous play Saturday afternoon.
Veleno will miss the remainder of the World Championships.
With Canada and Switzerland meeting up in a toe-to-toe showdown of undefeated squads at the IIHF World Hockey Championship, Veleno appeared to stomp on the leg of Swiss forward Nino Niederreiter during a second-period board battle.
“Hey I got a hockey record, I tried to chop a guy’s leg off with my skate and I’m the only guy who ever did that.” pic.twitter.com/uYThhtjODu
— Spittin' Chiclets (@spittinchiclets) May 20, 2023
Veleno was not penalized on the play, however, Niederreiter would receive a two-minute minor for roughing after retaliating as the two exited the corner.
The 23-year-old has a history of supplemental discipline on the international stage, having previously been suspended during the 2019 World Juniors for a headbutt. Veleno has never been suspended in 152 career NHL games.
“It does not belong in our sport. You can't do it. It's too dangerous, the blades are extremely sharp,” Niederreiter said postgame to Swiss reporters. “He tried to go into the battle to hurt me and almost broke my ankle.”
The rest of the hockey world had nothing but condemnation for the potentially vicious play, including Edmonton Oilers forward Evander Kane, who dealt with a dangerous injury via a skate blade earlier this season.
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 https://t.co/VwX2yA8C1Q
— Evander Kane (@evanderkane) May 20, 2023
This is extremely dangerous from Joe Veleno. I’m not sure how stomping on an opponents leg crosses your mind, but this is ridiculous.
And he didn’t even get a penalty, Niederreiter was the only one because of the Veleno selljob. Canada scored on the same PowerPlay. pic.twitter.com/1O69mPTqmI
— Thomas Mercier 🎙️ (@TJM_PlayByPlay) May 20, 2023
Far as I’m concerned: Joe Veleno should be done for the Worlds. pic.twitter.com/n5vyzNtqxu
— Scott Wheeler (@scottcwheeler) May 20, 2023
A foolish, Dangerous act by Joe Veleno. https://t.co/LSOTqGNdsn
— Octopus Thrower (@OctopusThrower_) May 20, 2023
Joe Veleno has entered Matt Cooke level of dirty at the IIHF worlds today for Canada.
— Muffin Man (@Muffin_Man19) May 20, 2023
Veleno has collected a pair of goals and three assists in five games for Canada during this year's World Championship. He also tallied nine goals and 20 points in 81 games with Detroit this season.
While Canada ultimately wound up with the man advantage following the sequence, it mattered little in the end as the Swiss moved to a perfect 5-0-0 on the tournament with a 3-2 win.
Buoyed by a 27-save effort by netminder Leonardo Genoni, the Swiss’ strong tournament has put them in a unique position to potentially capture their first medal since earning silver in 2018, and possibly the country's first-ever gold.