Under the new NHL Rule 64 (against diving/embellishment), James Neal is the first NHL player to be fined for diving or embellishment. Neal, of the Nashville Predators, was issued a Warning (Step #1) during a Nov. 13th game at St. Louis, where there was no on-ice penalty. His second citation was issued a month later, after the Dec. 13th game at San Jose (where he received a minor penalty for embellishment). This second citation was issued by the NHL’s Hockey Operations Department, who watches all games much like the (in?)famous War Room in Toronto, and they give their opinions as to whether or not a play that was not called on the ice may make a player worthy enough of a citation.
Neal has been fined $2,000 on the scale that goes as followed:
Citation# Player Fine(s) Head Coach Fine(s)*
1 Warning N/A
2 $2,000 N/A
3 $3,000 N/A
4 $4,000 N/A
5 $5,000 $2,000
6 $5,000 $3,000
7 $5,000 $4,000
8 $5,000 $5,000
* For Head Coach, each FINE issued to a player on his Club counts toward total.
With the Predators’ already winning the future trivia question of “who was the first NHL player to be fined for embellishment?” they now have only two more free spaces before they might also win “what head coach stuffed his brightly colored tie into a player’s mouth after being fined for his players embellishing?” question as Peter Laviolette, who will not be a very happy man.
Of course, for someone like James Neal who is trying to be like former Penguins teammate Matt Cooke and shake off the “dirty” image in a new city, hopefully being officially cited & fined will be enough to embarrass him so badly as to stop him from doing this again as the rule tries to put a stop to silly things like embellishments and dives.