An infraction that occurs when a player uses his knee to check or hit an opponent. Kneeing is a rare penalty in the NHL but can be given as a minor, major or match penalty when the infraction occurs. A more common instance of kneeing is during a knee-on-knee collision.
Players sometimes use their knees to stop an opponent who is speeding past them. In the case where the opposing player is carrying the puck, the infraction will be considered as kneeing and in the case where the opposing player is not in possession of the puck, a penalty for kneeing as well as a penalty for interference can be given to the guilty player.
The incidents that most often involve the knees are knee-on-knee collisions. Knee-on-knee collisions are very dangerous and often times result in significant knee injuries. A player who executes a knee-on-knee collision is more susceptible of a major or match penalty than a player who uses his knee only to stop an opponent. Intentional knee-on-knee hits often result in a suspension. Knee-on-knee hitting is considered to be a cheap shot and a dirty play by NHL players, and players who clearly hit using the knee can expect retaliation from opponents.