April 9, 2007

2007 Diving Summary

As most people who read my site regularly know, I am not a big fan of diving. My diving tracker on my website stands as a constant reminder of the fact that the NHL is doing nothing about repeat offenders as they promised. Here is the Canadian Press news release about Avery’s second diving penalty.

I noticed a few things in there I hadn’t before: Despite the new strict diving rules, “Several NHL coaches around the league have privately complained that diving is way up this season as a result of the tighter enforcement of the [non-diving] rules.” I also noticed that

“The league doesn't announce the fines, but Avery spilled the beans Monday. He was upset because his second diving offense wasn't called during the Nov. 3 game. But Big Brother was watching.” It’s interesting, but the NHL could claim to fine the players 1 million dollars for the third dive on paper, but they never would have to implement it because no one except the players would know if they fined them or not.

Anyway, here are some diving stats from two seasons:

Graph: Penalties/100 games vs. Season game number.

89/109 diving penalties had an accompanying minor associated with it in 2006. (82%)
88/114 diving penalties had an accompanying minor associated with it in 2007. (77%)
Dan O'Rourke (a referee) has been on the ice for 26/223 (12%) of all diving calls.
Dean Warren has been on the ice for 4 in over 140 games (3 diving calls/100 games)
Avery made it to 5 diving penalties this season and Huselius made it to 3.

“The first such incident will result in a warning letter being sent to the player, the second such incident will result in a $1,000 fine, the third such incident will result in a $2,000 fine and the fourth such incident will result in a one-game suspension.”

Interesting, there appears to be no discipline for a fifth such incident.

It would appear to me little has changed since last year. The refs called the same number of diving calls over the season, despite the NHL encouraging increased diving calls in the first few months. The number of diving calls without any other associated penalties increased from a paltry 20 to an enormous 26 (30% increase). As I stated before, “The NHL has no incentive to get rid of diving. They just want to make it appear like they’re trying to control them so the fans are happy.”

So according the coaches diving is up this season, there's not much more to say.

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