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Canada’s Joe Veleno has come under fire for a dirty play in which he appeared to stomp on the calf of Switzerland’s Nino Niederreiter during a game at the IIHF World Championships in Latvia.
It happened just under halfway through the second period. Veleno — who plays for the Detroit Red Wings — was battling along the boards with Niederreiter, who earns his NHL paychecks with the Minnesota Wild. Niederreiter had the puck pinned along the boards and Veleno dug away at it to knock it free.
When that wasn’t working he did this:
IIHF rules are sometimes drastically different than NHL rules (that rule about not being able to use your stick to help a teammate pick up a dropped stick is wild), but this is no bueno no matter where you’re playing.
That’s why it’s pretty clear none of the on-ice officials saw this because Veleno didn’t receive a penalty. It was Niederreiter who was sent to the sin bin for roughing.
Then, to make things sting just a bit more, Canada scored on the ensuing powerplay.
Fortunately for the Swiss, they’re on fire at the World Championships, and handed Canada its first loss of the tournament, winning Saturday’s contest 3-2.
But of course, it was that stomp heard ’round the hockey world by Veleno that caught a lot of attention.
There hasn’t been a call as to whether or not Veleno will be dealt a suspension. I mean, he kind of has to, right? You can understand how on-ice officials may not have caught that at the time, but now that we’ve seen the video, that has to be something.
Canada’s next game is on Sunday against Norway.
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle
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