The Bruins may finally be getting their wish as the divers, embellishers and floppers will be on watch once hockey gets going this season.
A two-day Rules Enforcement Meeting concluded in Toronto on Wednesday, and NHL Senior Executive Vice President Colin Campbell said the biggest thing taken away from the discussion was stronger enforcement of the diving penalty, according to an NHL.com report.
Normally diving has been called simultaneously with a tripping or hooking call offsetting the whistle with matching penalties. But the nearly unanimous support was to eradicate the Nestea plunge out of the NHL after teams like the Montreal Canadiens and Vancouver Canucks perfected the art of the penalty-drawing dive.
Ironically enough Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa was one of the NHL players at the enforcement meetings looking to snuff out the diving infractions, but he has long been one of the Vancouver skaters to play the game with some level of honesty. Campbell said that players, coaches and managers are hoping for a Most Wanted list of divers to be posted in every NHL locker room, and therefore hopefully embarrass them.
So P.K. Subban, Mike Ribeiro, Alex Burrows and Maxim Lapierre among others should officially be on notice that there will be a zero tolerance policy for divers on the ice next season.
"They want to get the list out there," said Campbell to reporters. "They want the player to be caught, whether it's on the ice by the referee or by us on video. They are all tired of diving. The object is to make them stop eventually and, by doing that, they can get it out there around the League, embarrass them. The referees will know it, too, so the divers don't get the benefit of the doubt.
The Bruins were one of a number of NHL teams that has complained loudly over the last two seasons about diving and embellishing from their opponents. According to the NHL Rulebook, players who violate the divingembellishment rule are subject to supplementary discipline through fine andor suspension.
Campbell told NHL.com there was no appetite among the group attending the two-day summit to suspend repeat offenders. The players group led by Bieksa, John Michael-Liles and Jason Spezza -- felt the punishment of having your name on a divers' list in the 30 NHL dressing rooms would be enough to reduce the frequency with which the cheap tactic is used.
To be fair Brad Marchand was also guilty of the same thing in the first round series against the Washington Capitals last year as well, but a more strict enforcement will hopefully sweep the flopping right out of the game.
Hockey, after all, isnt soccer with the acting and the flopping while feigning injuries, and there is little desire for the sport to trend downward into that direction. It will be a little less enjoyable if the Montreal Diving Club T-shirts disappear from the street corners when the Canadiens come to Boston each season, but at least the hockey will be much better off for it.