Team Canada and Red Wings forward Joe Veleno has received a five-game suspension at the 2023 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship for violating rules regarding kicks. The incident occurred during a round-robin match against Switzerland, where Veleno stomped on Swiss captain Nino Niederreiter’s foot with his skate in the second period. Although authorities did not initially call for Veleno’s offender, a two-minute minor penalty was later imposed on Niederreiter as retaliation against Veleno.
Veleno’s violation comes under the IIHF rules that define kicking as “the deliberate use of skates by a player in a kicking motion to propel the puck or make contact with an opponent.” This was not the first time Veleno had received a suspension, as he was suspended for one game during the 2019 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships for headbutting.
As per the announcement by the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Disciplinary Committee, Veleno will miss Canada’s next five games starting with Monday’s game against Norway. Niederreiter, meanwhile, expressed to reporters after the game that Veleno’s actions “doesn’t fit our sport” and were dangerous.