Canadiens Prospect Beck At Memorial Cup Due to NHL Ruling
Thanks to a ruling by the NHL, the Montreal Canadiens will be represented by two prospects at the 2023 Memorial Cup.
Jared Davidson and the Seattle Thunderbirds will represent the Western Hockey League, while Owen Beck and the Peterborough Petes earned their Memorial Cup berth by earning a surprising league championship in the OHL.
However, Beck’s presence in Kamloops was far from a guarantee.
The 2022 second-round pick was caught delivering a blatant slew foot in the fifth game of the series versus the London Knights and was suspended for the remainder of the OHL playoffs.
The Petes clinched the championship the following game, which means Beck only served a one-game suspension. It should be noted that a slew foot carries an automatic two-game suspension in the OHL.
Thoughts ? Owen Beck suspended for the remainder of the final pic.twitter.com/F5qwbUGRcV
— Habs Fan TV (@habsfantv_) May 20, 2023
NHL Steps In
The most interesting, or rather, confusing aspect of the suspension is that it was not the Canadian Hockey League that decided to clear Beck for the Memorial Cup, but rather, the NHL.
It turns out the NHL’s Department Of Player Safety oversees all disciplinary actions during the Memorial Cup, including referee supervision.
One could be easily excused for assuming the governing body (CHL) would be tasked with making the decision, because, well, they’re the governing body for Junior hockey in Canada.
But it appears they acquiesced to the NHL in this particular case, and the NHL has decided Beck’s slew-foot did not merit a carryover into the Memorial Cup.
If Beck returns to the OHL next season, he will serve the second game of his automatic two-game suspension during the first game of the regular season.
On the one hand, the decision will certainly please the Petes, who rely on Beck for his staunch defensive game, his ridiculous faceoff efficiency, and his offensive prowess.
Despite winning the OHL Championship, the Petes are considered the clear underdogs heading into the Memorial Cup. Playing without Beck would have put them at a significant disadvantage.
But there’s no denying Beck’s actions were rather deliberate, and though it means Canadiens fans will have an opportunity to watch him play for Junior hockey’s holy grail, a slew foot is one of the most dangerous events in hockey, and therefore, should be taken seriously.
By deferring the suspension, the NHL has essentially decided a competitive Memorial Cup is more important than player safety, which, you’ll remember, is their main responsibility in the first place.
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slew foots are generally dangerous because they tend to happen near the boards and they do come with an automatic 2 games in the OHL – but this was not a dangerous play, no one was hurt, and would have been a 2 minute penalty in the NHL…
It would have been surprising to see Beck not allowed to play.
That said, it should be the CHL’s decision – the DoPS in the NHL is a complete joke run by a former goon and they do not care at all about player safety… they are more inconsistent than the on ice officials (who are pretty awful as well).
OHL’s ruling , CHL doesnt agree cause its screws the Memorial Cup over.
NHL is the tie breaker in this situation IMO