The NHL Oscars: The Game's Best Embellishers (Video)

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The NHL Oscars: The Game's Best Embellishers (Video)
Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images

Few subjects bring the bitterness and ugliness out of an NHL fan like the subject of diving.

Every devotee seems to think that their favorite squad is 100 percent diver-free while rivals are filled with nothing but swans. Here's the fact of the matter before we go any further: Every player on every team has dove or embellished at some juncture.

And every fan remembers one particular instance where one particular opposing player drew a call against a rooting interest, and that player will forever and always be known as a dive artist.

In reality, no subject in the sport brings the homer out of fans like diving.

Yet a handful of players around the league have reputations that go beyond simple rooting interests. In a way, embellishment embodies everything that is wrong with the game right now. Instead of working hard along the boards, forwards just wait for a stick to hover somewhere above their midsections so they can turn their backs and snap their heads back.

Instead of pushing the play forward when feeling a stick around the ankles, guys are often rewarded for the act of diving in the form of a power play. This whole issue really comes down to positive reinforcement.

If the guys who dive continue to get calls in their favor, there is zero reason (aside from honor) for them not to dive. And let's face it, a lot of players in the NHL aren't quite as "death before dishonor" as we'd all like to believe.

Still, there's a gap between diving occasionally and diving as a team's "penalty drawer" on a nightly basis. While everyone has done it, here are some guys who have made a mockery of the game and the refs more often than most.

 

(Diving, in its very nature, is a controversial subject and any discussion involving the topic can very quickly escalate from discussion to flaming. Call me old fashioned, but I'd much rather make fun of the divers than insult their wives and fans. So instead of vehemently firing off a few "if you ever watched hockey, you'd know blahblahblah" comments, lets try to have some fun with this. Lay your evidence on the table in a well-mannered fashion, and others involved will do the same...I hope.)

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