To the NHL: Forget Banning Fighting, Eliminate Diving

Bleacher ReportAnalyst IMarch 29, 2009

NEW YORK - APRIL 29:  Jaromir Jagr #68 of the New York Rangers hooks Marian Hossa #18 of the Pittsburgh Penguins who dives for the puck during Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2008 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on April 29th, 2008 in New York City.  Jagr recieved a two minute penalty for hooking while Hossa recieved a two minute penalty for unsportsmanlike diving.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The hot topic this year has been whether fighting should stay in the game of hockey or not.

I say forget fighting, it needs to stay. Leave it alone. If you want to make the game better, eliminate diving from the game.

Rule 64 in the rule book is virtually useless. It's just writing on paper, rarely ever enforced, but it badly needs to be:

Any player or goalkeeper who blatantly dives, embellishes a fall or a reaction, or who feigns an injury shall be penalized with a minor penalty under this rule.

That's what it says. But how many times do you really see it called? Pretty much zero.

There is nothing more disgraceful, disrespectful, and straight-up cowardly than taking a dive. Gary Bettman needs to make sure the refs start calling these acts.

We all know the players who did it occasionally and those that are known for diving. This garbage is one of the reasons I despise Sidney Crosby and why I am starting to dislike Alex Ovechkin.

Crosby is a great player and deserving of recognition. But he isn't the best player in the league, and you could make the argument that he isn't even in the top five. He's a diver.

Ovechkin is the tops in many minds, and originally I didn't think he was a diver, but I have determined he is. He may not do it as often as some, but when he does, you know it. Remember his "Triple Axel" against the Flyers in the Playoffs?

The other side of the argument is that diving's "good" for your team. Yes, it may get you a powerplay, which sometime may get you a goal, but it's disgraceful and embarrasses the league and the player that does it.

It's not just the fans that have a problem with it; the players do too. The most respected dislike divers, and that's why those guys are respected.

The officials have whistles for a reason. They ought to stop allowing this nonsense to continue and put an end to it.

Faking is not going to improve the NHL's image. For the sake of the game, eliminate diving.