Toronto Maple Leafs netminder Freddie Andersen was assessed a fine for diving following the team's game against the Vegas Golden Knights on New Years Eve.
Andersen spoke out Friday about the incident, claiming that he did not dive, and simply lost his balance.
“I obviously didn’t try to dive in (Vegas),” Andersen said, as reported by the Toronto Sun's Lance Hornby. “I got hit on the back of the skate and lost my balance. I know and understand it looked very bad, so I accept the fact you have to pay up. I just try to be strong on my feet, that’s pretty much all I have to say about that.”
While Andersen admits that the play does look suspect, he is adamant that it was simply a loss of balance that led to an awkward fall. As Andersen had been previously warned about diving in a game against the Carolina Hurricanes, the second "offense", as deemed by the National Hockey League anyway, was an automatic fine.
Andersen didn't believe he dove against Carolina either.
“That was a little different, I don’t think that one was as bad, but I think the nature of me initiating the contact, I have to be stronger,” Andersen added. “Again, I lost my balance and it didn’t help he got a penalty on it. It’s over, but it’s something I can learn from.”
Again, Andersen admits that he needs to be stronger to avoid falling awkwardly, but should the NHL have listened to his case before assessing him a fine? Repeat offenses will increase the fine, eventually leading to a coach to Mike Babcock.
It seems like a waste of resources for the NHL to be focusing on fining players for such minor incidents.