Kerry Fraser was a referee in the NHL for 37 years and is now an analyst for TSN. In a recent question and answer post on his blog, Fraser discusses the art of the dive in the NHL and how the league goes about trying to look out for repeat offenders. All interesting stuff. But there is an anecdote about a game in which Wayne Gretzky was doing a bit of diving while playing the Flyers that had some amazing history in it.
Some of you may have heard this one before, but it's certainly worth pointing out again for those who haven't.
The Philadelphia Flyers were the guests that evening and Wayne Gretzky
started "falling down" very early the game and looked my way before he
hit the ice to see if my arm was raised. The more Wayne dove and the
crowd yelled, the more secure the whistle remained in my pocket.
With under a minute to play and the Flyers up by one goal, Wayne was
in his "office" behind the goal. Pelle Lindbergh caught the puck and I
whistle play stopped. Gretz, standing all alone behind the net, leaped
into the air and threw his hands forward, his feet stretched out behind
him, and executed a belly flop worthy of a perfect score. Bobby Clarke
skated up to Wayne and said, "Get up you $%& baby."
Bobby Clarke and the Bullies, one of the few groups of guys who could call The Great One a "&$% baby."
Fraser goes on to tell about how he dealt with Gretzky that day, which is interesting in and of itself.