During Saturday’s round-robin game of the men’s world championships, Red Wings forward Joe Veleno stomped on an opponent’s leg during a battle on the boards. He was subsequently suspended for five games by the IIHF.
Veleno’s skate landed on Nino Niederreiter right above the ankle where it looked like it hit his shin guard. Niederreiter was not injured from the play and Veleno was not given a penalty.
In fact, Niederreiter was actually assessed a roughing penalty after he and Veleno continued their scrum in front of the net. Niederreiter was likely getting back at Veleno for the stomp.
He told reporters after the game that Veleno’s move “does not belong in our sport” and called it dangerous.
Veleno has never been suspended in the NHL but was kept off the ice one game by the IIHF during the 2019 World Juniors for head butting an opponent.
Very Serious Offense
While this won’t result in any disciplinary action from the NHL, Veleno’s action should result in a discussion with Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde. Stepping on a player in hockey is a serious crime. You don’t see it happen often at all.
Lalonde needs to have a stern meeting with Veleno to make sure he understands that this stuff won’t be tolerated. Just because Veleno is wearing the Canadian sweater, doesn’t mean he’s still not representing the Red Wings.
I’m sure some of you will make a Suh joke in the comments but those are not the same situation. Suh did not have a sharp blade at the bottom of his shoe when he stomped on the Packers lineman.
If this wasn’t an international competition, Joe Veleno would likely have had to fight somebody from the opposition.
For more from the author Jeramy Stover, check him out on Twitter here: @jstover96
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