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Joe Veleno apologizes to Bowen Byram after Fight Night at LCA

Detroit Red Wings F Joe Veleno apologizes following his first career NHL fight!

It marked a career milestone for Detroit Red Wings forward Joe Veleno in yesterday’s game against the Buffalo Sabres when he engaged in his first on-ice altercation, squaring off against defenseman Bowen Byram after the latter checked him into the boards in an awkward manner. However, Veleno later extended an apology to Byram upon encountering him after the game, revealing that the two are actually friends off the ice.

Joe Veleno apologizes

Joe Veleno apologizes following yesterday’s bout

Veleno revealed that he encountered Byram after the game, where he not only apologized for some of the blows he delivered to the back of Byram’s head but also disclosed their friendship.

“I honestly didn’t even think about it until after the game when I saw him,” Veleno said. “I said, ‘I’m sorry for giving you a couple of those punches in the back of the head a little bit.’

“He’s a friend of mine, too. I played with him (on Canada’s 2020 World Junior team). Obviously, you don’t want to see someone get hurt. It’s a hockey game and you play hard and play within the whistles. At all times you want to play clean.”

But that doesn’t mean that he thinks that Byram’s hit was of the clean variety.

“I didn’t really like the hit, especially that there was no power play; that kind of made me retaliate a little bit,” Veleno said. “Obviously, if there was a penalty called maybe would have been different because our team’s going on the power play. Games like this are pretty important, special teams. I looked up, there was no arm in the air (from a referee) and then kind of went up to him and asked if he wanted to go. At first, he kind of laid back and I didn’t really get an answer. We were kind of chit-chatting and then we dropped ‘em.

“We saw each other after the game and it’s all OK.”

Detroit Red Wings Rooting Guide

TL;DR (too long didn’t read)

  1. Detroit Red Wings forward Joe Veleno dropped the mitts for the first time in his career during yesterday’s game against the Buffalo Sabres
  2. He retaliated against Sabres defenseman Bowen Byram, whom he felt delivered a dirty hit from behind
  3. Joe Veleno apologized to Byram after the game for some of the blows to the head he delivered and revealed the two of them are actually friends off the ice

Bottom Line: The Red Wings need points, not fights from Veleno

Despite Veleno’s passionate display yesterday, the Red Wings are relying on him to contribute on the scoresheet rather than through physical altercations.

He’ll have an opportunity to do just that tomorrow as the Red Wings host the Washington Capitals in a game with significant postseason implications.

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