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In a recent game at the 2023 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, Joe Veleno, the forward for Team Canada and the Detroit Red Wings, found himself at the center of controversy. Veleno has been suspended for five games for violating IIHF rules on kicking, specifically for his action of stomping on the leg of Swiss captain Nino Niederreiter with his skate during the second period of Saturday's round-robin loss against Switzerland.
- Veleno's leg stomp on Niederreiter's leg was not initially penalized by the officials but resulted in a two-minute minor penalty for Niederreiter, who retaliated against Veleno.
- The IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Disciplinary Panel subsequently announced a five-game suspension for Veleno, which will begin with the game against Norway on Monday.
- This is not the first time Veleno has faced suspension; he was previously suspended for one game during the 2019 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships for head-butting.
Veleno with the Red Wings
Veleno was selected as the 30th overall pick in the 2018 NHL draft. He made his NHL debut during the 2020-21 season but only had the opportunity to play in five games. However, in the most recent season, Veleno showcased his skills by participating in 81 out of the Red Wings 82 games. Throughout the season, he accumulated 20 points, which included nine goals and 11 assists.
In his overall career, Veleno has participated in 152 games, amassing a total of 36 points from 18 goals and 18 assists. Notably, at the World Championship, Veleno represented his country and competed in five games, during which he demonstrated his scoring abilities by netting two goals and contributing three assists. These performances indicate his continuous development as a skilled player, and he remains a promising asset.