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NHL divers, you have been warned

NHL divers, you have been warned

NHL divers, beware.

Your peers want you caught and your names ragged through the mud.

That was the message after a two-day summit in Toronto this week on rules violations.

Coaches, general managers, players and officials were invited to take part in the discussions, which centered around the way NHL games are officiated and the tricks players use to draw penalties.

NHL director of hockey operations Colin Campbell said players made an impassioned plea to embarrass divers by having them identified and placed on a list that is posted in all 30 dressing rooms.

They want to get the list out there, Campbell said. 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.

Under current rules, players who embellish penalties are subject to suspensions and fines but that happens only on rare occasions. Too often referees call two penalties on most diving incidents one on the player who commits the foul and the other on the diver.

Many players believe that only one penalty should be called in those instances. Its either a hook or a dive not both.

I talk about players being smart, they figure out when they can get calls. Thats a concern, said Phoenix Coyotes coach Dave Tippett, who was among the group of coaches on the panel. I was glad to see the players in the meeting were concerned with it also. It's an area of our game that I think we can clean up.

Players also expressed concern over an increase of interference in the offensive zone, saying defensemen often get away with hold ups that deny forecheckers the chance to get in on their defense partners.

They want no-touch, let him go, Campbell said of the players. Once you're beat, you're beat. That's what they really wanted to hit. No holdups, no interference is what they were heavy on.

What are your thoughts on diving? Has the NHL become too much like professional soccer? And if you could make a divers list, who would be on it? Any Capitals? Join the conversation below.

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Capitals Extra Podcast: Trade deadline story time with Alan May

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NBC Sports Washington

Capitals Extra Podcast: Trade deadline story time with Alan May

Alan May knows a thing or two about the trade deadline.

Over the course of his NHL career, May was traded five total times, four at the trade deadline. He sits down with Rob Carlin on a special edition of the Capitals Extra Podcast to tell stories from his playing days about what it was like getting traded.

This one's a can't miss for hockey fans. You can listen to the episode here on the Capitals Extra page or with the player below.

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NHL Awards tracker: Where would the Caps' offense be without Ovechkin?

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USA TODAY Sports

NHL Awards tracker: Where would the Caps' offense be without Ovechkin?

The Hart Trophy is given to the player judged to be the most valuable to their team. With the Caps currently struggling in almost every aspect of the game, consider this: Just where would they be without Alex Ovechkin?

Washington ranks 10th in the NHL in goals per game with 3.05. Ovechkin leads the NHL in goals with 36. He has scored an incredible 19-percent of his team's goals. No one on the Caps is within 20 goals of the Caps' captain.

That's not a typo. Evgeny Kuznetsov ranks second on the team with 16 goals. No other team in the league has a larger separation between its top two scorers. In fact, only three teams have a difference that's in the double digits: Vancouver (11), San Jose (10) and New Jersey (10).

Ovechkin is almost singlehandedly propping up Washington as a top-ten offense. If you think about just where this offense would be without him, there's a pretty strong case to be made that Ovechkin is as valuable to his team this season as any other player in the league.

SEE THIS WEEK'S 2018 NHL AWARDS TRACKER HERE

Here are the Caps' hopefuls for awards this season:

John Carlson

In contention for: Norris

Carlson is fifth among all defensemen with 45 points, but his case goes beyond the numbers. With a blue line that has featured two rookies the majority of the season, an aging veteran in Brooks Orpik and that had to deal with an injury to Matt Niskanen, the Caps have asked a lot of Carlson this season and he has always been up to the task.

Alex Ovechkin

In contention for: Hart

Few players, if any, are as important to their team's offensive production and therefore its success than Ovechkin has been this season.

Check out who the top candidates are for the league's major individual awards in this week's 2018 NHL Awards Tracker!