The IIHF today suspended Team Canada and Detroit Red Wings forward Joe Veleno for five World Championship games, effectively ending his tournament. The suspension comes in response to Veleno appearing to intentionally step on the lower leg of Switzerland forward Nino Niederreiter during a puck battle in yesterday’s 3-2 win for the Swiss.
Veleno avoided a penalty on the play, and Niederreiter actually received a minor penalty for roughing Veleno later on in the sequence. Upon review, however, the IIHF undoubtedly made the right call, removing Veleno from the remainder of the tournament after one of the more dangerous plays in international hockey in recent memory.
It is a significant loss for Canada, which now sits third in Group B after the regulation loss. Veleno was second on the team in scoring, with two goals and three assists in five games.
Veleno, Detroit’s 30th overall selection in the 2018 NHL Draft, is a restricted free agent this offseason after the conclusion of his entry-level contract. He posted a career-high nine goals and 20 points in 81 games for the Red Wings this season.