0Joe Veleno
Photo Credit: Jenae Anderson - Access Hockey MI

Joe Veleno suspended one game by IIHF

Not the news Red Wings wanted to see this afternoon: The IIHF has suspended Joe Veleno one game for a head butting incident against Russia on Dec. 28. Veleno will have to sit out Canada’s matchup against Germany tomorrow morning. Through two games at the World Juniors, Veleno has registered one assist.

This is a major loss for Canada. They currently sit last in Group B, and will also be without Alexis Lafreniere. Veleno is a pivotal piece of the roster, being the top-line center and apart of the leadership group.

The incident in question violated IIHF rule-142. The IIHF rule book reads:

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DEFINITION: A player who uses his head, with or without his helmet on,
to strike an opponent.

  1. A player who either attempts to head-butt or succeeds in head-butting
    an opponent will be assessed a match penalty.

What’s interesting here is Veleno was not issued a match penalty. It went unnoticed and Veleno was able to finish the game. The IIHF typically views rule violations in complete black and white. Veleno’s “head butt” was not egregious whatsoever, however, still occurred. That’s good enough for a game in their eyes.

The incident can be seen above. Veleno confronted the Russian player after being hauled down in front of the net. Canada was in the midst of being blown out 6-0 by Russia, so emotions started to spill over.