TORONTO (AP) â€” Diving, the unofficial sport of the NHL, has been targeted as the next area for a league crackdown.
Referees will be told to begin strictly applying the existing rule beginning with games this weekend, says Colin Campbell, the league's director of operations.
The rule calls for a two-minute penalty for embellishment of perceived infractions.
``We don't like what's happening,'' Campbell said after a meeting of the league's 30 general managers broke up Monday. ``We've discussed it and now we'll take it to the referees and advise coaches and players we're going to do something about it. We want to stop it.''
Since the season began six weeks ago, referee in chief Andy Van Hellemond's 32 referees have been eyeing any use of the stick on an opponent above the waist. The number of penalties being called is down in recent weeks, and diving has been on the upswing.
``Andy has been doing a good job with his referees,'' Campbell said. ``We don't want to let up at all.''
A player who takes a dive with no foul having been committed against him will go off alone. A player who exaggerates the effect of a foul will go off with the initial offender.
``It's something the sport doesn't like, and it's something the public doesn't like,'' Campbell said.
In other matters, Campbell has a Tuesday hearing with Phoenix Coyotes forward Brad May in the NHL's Toronto office. May is to be disciplined for hitting Columbus forward Steve Heinze with his stick during a weekend game.
``It was a bad stick foul,'' Campbell said. ``It would be unfair to comment any more without talking to Brad.''
``Certainly I have to be held accountable,'' May said. ``I've never gone after anybody like that before in my career.''