Coyotes’ Ekman-Larsson first player shamed this season with diving fine

Oliver Ekman-Larsson needed only 10 games this season to earn himself a $2,000 fine for diving/embellishment. That’s the quickest from the start of the season any player has earned the fine.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson made NHL history Thursday, though it’s not exactly the type of record he’ll be happy to hold.

Ekman-Larsson, 25, was fined $2,000 by the NHL on Thursday for diving/embellishment, and with the fine coming less than one month into the campaign, he now holds the mark for the shortest span between the start of the season and a diving fine. The previous record was held by Minnesota Wild winger Teemu Pulkkinen in 2015-16, but it took less than a full calendar year to break that precarious record.

The fine for Ekman-Larsson is the result of an incident during a Nov. 3 game against the Predators, and came as the Coyotes rearguard looked to have a potential breakaway after a blocked shot. 

After he stopped a wrister from Kevin Fiala, Ekman-Larsson attempted to follow the puck up ice, was bumped by Fiala and proceeded to literally leave his feet in order to fall to the ice and draw a penalty. It worked, as Fiala picked up a minor for interference on the play. The entire sequence can be seen below:

As always, though, the fine actually comes as a result of Ekman-Larsson’s second offense, and he was issued a warning earlier in the campaign. The league never explicitly identifies when the first infraction took place, but it does make the date and the opponent. In Ekman-Larsson’s case, his warning came after he was flagged for diving/embellishment following an Oct. 25 meeting with the New Jersey Devils.

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In that game, Ekman-Larsson drew a tripping call when he was run into in the corner by Devils winger Sergey Kalinin, and the replay of the incident sure looks like it could have been where the warning came from. After Kalinin makes contact, Ekman-Larsson is spun to the ice and Kalinin is handed a minor for tripping:

Ekman-Larsson is now on embellishment watch, and it could cost him if he decides to go to the ice too easy for the NHL’s Hockey Operations Department’s liking. Each subsequent instance of diving will cost Ekman-Larsson an additional $1,000 up to a maximum of $5,000, and a fifth would also result in Coyotes coach Dave Tippett being forced to hand over $2,000.

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