The NHL handed out its first diving/embellishment fine of the 2018-19 season on Wednesday when it announced that Colorado Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen, the NHL’s leading scorer entering the day, has been hit with a $2,000 fine.
Rantanen was punished for an incident that took place on Nov. 14 against the Boston Bruins.
This is the play.
Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron was giving a two-minute minor for hooking on the play while Rantanen was given a minor penalty for embellishment.
That does not seem to be one of the more egregious embellishment calls you will ever see, but his penalty on that play came after he was warned for an incident back on Oct. 16 against the New York Islanders.
His second incident is what brought on the fine. If he is cited again his fine will go up to $3,000 and will continue to increase with each incident that follows.
If he reaches a fifth violation head coach Jared Bednar will also be fined.
The NHL first started publicly citing and fining players for diving during the 2014-15 season. Only four players were fined during the 2017-18 season for diving.
Rantanen has been one of the league’s best offensive players the past two seasons. Since the start of the 2017-18 season his 116 points are tied for the sixth most in the league with Pittsburgh Penguins forward Phil Kessel. His 32 points in 20 games this season lead the league. Along with Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog he is part of what has become one of the NHL’s most dominant lines.