It’s Monday, which means it’s the day the NHL publishes its list of divers. At least, it would be… if they were actually publishing that list.
The Hockey Operations department decides every Monday on diving incidents from the previous week; whether to hand out warnings, or, after the first offence, fines. The NHL has decided not to make the warnings public. Individual players and teams can reveal if desired, but the league will not.
Despite the league’s crackdown on diving, the strongest and likely most effective part of the punishment – public notice – won’t be happening. A fine of $5,000 isn’t exactly damaging to a player on a multi-year, multi-million-dollar contract.
Remember, the league’s ‘progressive discipline’ on diving applies to both player penalized during the game, like Ovechkin below, and to players who avoided being caught for embellishment by the referees. The Situation Room is actively reviewing situations after the fact for fines and discipline. It’s just too bad they’re not sharing the outcome of those reviews.
While the NHL is keeping track and reportedly punishing divers, the ‘crackdown’ is much less effective when it’s not visible to media and fans.
Having teams and referees on notice about ‘convicted’ divers is helpful, but letting the public see the list might be the most effective way to curb embellishment.