BOSTON (CBS) — Could Bruins games against archrival Montreal lack a long-accepted form of unsportsmanlike conduct in the years to come?
Well, if the players involved in this week’s NHL rule enforcement meeting in Toronto have their way, the league might finally crack down on diving and embellishment to the point where those embarrassing aspects of the game would be as rare as wood sticks.
The meeting featured representatives of the players, front offices, coaching staff and officials of the NHL in order to discuss several matters pertaining to the rule book. Once the meetings concluded, NHL senior executive vice president Colin Campbell said that the diving discussion was the most enlightening, and the group might’ve come up with a solution for it – a list of known divers to be posted in every dressing room in the league.
“They want to get [the list] out there,” Campbell told NHL.com. “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.”
Anyone who has watched an instant replay of a player jerking his head back in reaction to a check that didn’t come within a foot of his face, or a player vault over an opposing player’s stick during a pursuit without making any actual contact will be glad to know that most of the powers to be in the NHL are just as frustrated. While there are measures the league could take in terms of supplemental discipline for habitual embellishers, the NHL.com story stresses that players think the shame of being added to one of these “diver lists” would be enough to get players to stop.
Obviously, not every constituency in the NHL was represented at these meetings. Whether anyone was speaking for Maxim Lapierre, Alex Burrows and P.K. Subban is unknown. Of course, with his theatrics in a couple of the Bruins’ playoff games against Washington, forward Brad Marchand might also be impacted by the possibility of these lists being as common as a skate sharpener in every team’s room.
While we don’t know if the NHL and NHLPA will manage to agree on enough matters to get the 2012-13 season started on time, it’s great to hear the pretty much everyone in the game is on the same page when it comes weeding out the would-be Emmy winners from the sport and leaving the game to those with honesty and integrity, even if those Bruins-Canadiens games might lack for some of their more humorous scenarios.