James Neal – The first to pay NHL fines on diving

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Updated: December 22, 2014


Betting advice is sure to change as James Neal of the Nashville Predators became the first NHL player to be slapped with an automatic fine of $ 2,000 for embellishment. The new ruling on “diving” became effective last September to address the league-wide problem of embellishment that has been plaguing the sport.
Neal incurred his second diving offense, and the first fine imposed for the violation this last Saturday, in San Jose at 19:39 of the third period. The game ended in a 2-0 loss for the Predators. Odds are Neal does not appreciate the reputation of being a serial diver but the rule now has some bite to it.

Rule 64
Last September, the National Hockey League made 10 changes to the rules after approval from the Board of Governors and the National Hockey League Players’ Association. In the updated rulebook, Rule 64 specifically addresses Diving/Embellishment.
Rule 64.1 states that, to deter players and teams from drawing penalties through embellishment or diving, a series of penalties and fines is to be enforced.
Rule 64.2 or Minor Penalty is called on the first attempt of a player to embellish and draw penalties by feigning injury or any such deceptive actions which are made in attempts to draw penalties.
Rule 64.3 or Fines and Suspensions states Hockey Operations will be reviewing game videos to impose penalties whether or not they were called by the referees on the ice. These further penalties are, therefore, considered supplementary discipline. The rule matrix lists eights incidents with stiffer fines imposed for each succeeding offense.

Player Fines
For the player, his first offense lands him a warning. The second offense triggers an automatic fine of $ 2,000, as is the case with James Neal. For the third offense, $ 3,000, fourth offense is $4,000, and the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eight embellishment incidents will incur $ 5,000 in penalties each.

Head Coach Fines
The head coach is also in danger of being fined. At the player’s fourth diving penalty, an automatic fine of $ 2,000 will be imposed. At the fifth player offense, a fine of $ 3,000 will be imposed on the head coach. The sixth offense will incur $ 4,000. The seventh and eight diving incidences are fined $ 5,000 each time.

Popular Doubts
Now that the rule is making itself felt, the problem of players and goalkeepers faking situations that favors their teams — which affect betting advice — can now, theoretically, be put to rest. It was the fear of some that odds are against the rule being enforced at all since it was never really properly called before.
Paul Stewart tweeted that the “crackdown” weakens unenforced ruling on diving suspensions and replaces it with “joke fines” that are probably not going to be assessed anyway.
The rule looks good on paper but still leaves much room for doubt among certain people. It is only in the consistent and proper implementation of the rules that this situation will truly change. The obvious diving that many players frequently commit raises serious questions on league integrity.

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