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Diving fine has players more ‘aware’ of NHL’s crackdown on embellishment

Neal dive

If you haven’t seen the play that made Predators forward James Neal the first NHLer to be fined for diving, here you go:

That was Saturday in San Jose. And according to Sharks coach Todd McLellan, it’s the publicity that the fine has received, more than the $2,000 fine itself, that has players thinking twice about embellishing.

“I do believe the players are more aware of it right now and they don’t want to show up on a list or on TV, or talked about at all. So they’re aware of it,” McLellan said, per the Mercury News.

“Some of it is habit, trying to get it out of the game. Some of it is just being honorable. I think for the most part, the majority of players are aware of it and they don’t want it to affect their game. It’s their game. They really don’t want it to part of their game, so we have to clean it up a little bit.”

Related: To ‘attack’ embellishment, NHL wants to ‘bring alive’ old rule