The NHL has issued a $2,000 fine to Colorado Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen, citing two instances in which he broke Rule 64 for Diving/Embellishment this season. Fines will increase for Rantanen for any subsequent instances, and eventually include financial punishment to head coach Jared Bednar as well. The first incident, which garnered just a warning, was on October 16th against the New York Rangers, while the latest was during a November 14th game against the Boston Bruins.
Rantanen has been one of the league’s brightest stars this season and still leads the entire NHL in scoring with 32 points. His play alongside Nathan MacKinnon has been a revelation, and has the Avalanche poised to become one of the league’s most dangerous offensive teams. Unfortunately with this history, he’ll now be watched even more closely by the officials and may not get the benefit of the doubt on close calls. He also could very well draw the ire of his coaching staff if he causes them to be fined, or costs his team with an ill-timed penalty.