Peterborough Petes center Owen Beck will be suiting up in the Memorial Cup despite his two-game suspension thanks to a ruling by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety.
Beck received the two-game ban after slew-footing London Knights defenseman Jackson Edward in the final minute of an eventual 4-1 Knights win. He was issued a match penalty during the game by referees Dave Lewis (#16) and Mac Nichol (#33).
From the OHL Rule Book:
Slew-footing is the act of a player using his leg or foot to knock or kick an opponent’s feet from under him, or pushes an opponent’s upper body backward with an arm or elbow, and at the same time with a forward motion of his leg, knocks or kicks the opponent’s feet from under him, or uses his leg as leverage and pushes the opponent’s upper body backward causing his opponent to trip or fall.
Any player who is guilty of slew-footing shall be assessed a match penalty
The Ontario Hockey League issued Beck a two game suspension. The Petes won the following game, winning the series in six games and advancing to the Memorial Cup — leaving one game left to serve on Beck’s suspension.
That remaining game will not carry over into the Memorial Cup.
NHL Player Safety Weighs In
The Ontario Hockey League’s Disciplinary Committee handles issued in that league, but they have no oversight over the Memorial Cup. Supervision of the officials – along with disciplinary oversight – in the Memorial Cup is handled by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety.
The Peterborough Examiner’s Mike Davies reported that the NHL reviewed Beck’s slew-foot.
“After reviewing the penalty, they deemed Owen eligible for Game 1 of the Memorial Cup,” said Petes general manager Mike Oke, per Davies.
It doesn’t mean the suspension has been reduced, merely that it’s not applicable to this tournament.
We’ve seen it with other leagues, where a player suspended in the ECHL is still able to play in the AHL, or a player receiving a suspension from the IIHF can still see action in the NHL.
A (Recent) History of Violence
Beck received a major penalty and a game misconduct earlier in the series for an illegal check to the head in Game 2.
“The ref called it right,” Knights coach Dale Hunter said of the hit. “It was a head shot. It happens. It happens in every league, the NHL and stuff, and the league always deals with it.”
The Peterborough forward avoided a suspension for that hit.
The Canadiens draft pick will be in the lineup for Peterborough’s opening game of the Memorial Cup against the WHL Champion Seattle Thunderbirds.
If Beck returns to the OHL next season, he’ll be required to serve out the one game remaining on his sentence. The Montreal Canadiens’ second round draft pick, though, may have already played his last OHL game.