The salary cap-strapped New Jersey Devils have caught the attention of the National Hockey League Players Association.
The NHLPA is looking into the Devils' salary cap situation, which led to New Jersey dressing just 15 skaters -- three below the league minimum -- in a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, according to TSN.
"We are currently reviewing this matter to ensure that the CBA is complied with and that any potential violation of the agreement is remedied," NHLPA director of communications Jonathan Weatherdon told TSN.
The Devils, hard against the NHL salary cap of $59.4 million and shorthanded because of injuries, were forced to go with the reduced roster against the Pens or they would have gone over the cap. Brian Rolston, who will have sports hernia surgery on Thursday and is expected to be out four to six weeks, Anton Volchenkov (broken nose) and Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond (suspension) were unavailable against Pittsburgh.
The Devils dressed two under the minimum Wednesday against the Buffalo Sabres. Forward Adam Mair was signed Tuesday and Letourneau-Leblond was sent to the AHL, making 16 skaters available for the game in Buffalo.
The Devils put Rolston on the long-term disabled list Wednesday, freeing up some cap space for the next few weeks -- Rolston's salary doesn't count toward the cap while he's out. That should allow the Devils to call up replacements from the minors to get the roster back to 20.
The NHL's collective bargaining agreement mandates a minimum of 18 skaters and two goaltenders for games. But the league doesn't see the Devils playing shorthanded as a major problem.
"We remain comfortable that the Devils are in compliance with their obligations under the CBA," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told TSN.ca. "Obviously, we will continue to monitor the situation and consult with the NHLPA and with the team, as appropriate."
The Devils got into cap problems when they signed Ilya Kovalchuk to a 15-year $100-million deal during the offseason and couldn't trade anyone to shed salary.
HAWK GETS TWO
Chicago defenceman Niklas Hjalmarsson will, in fact, sit out two games for a hit that left Buffalo's Jason Pominville with a concussion.
The NHL announced Hjalmarsson's two-game suspension Wednesday. The ban will cost the Blackhawk just under $38,000 in salary.
Hjalmarsson was given a major penalty for boarding and a game misconduct after drilling Pominville from behind during Monday's game. The resulting concussion has sidelined the Sabres forward, who had his consecutive game streak ended at 336 when he missed Wednesday's game against New Jersey.
The Phoenix Coyotes have a new place to send their prospects and has-beens.
The Coyotes reached an affiliation agreement with the Arizona Sundogs of the Central Hockey League Wednesday, allowing them to assign players to the minor league squad.
The San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League is the Coyotes primary minor-league affiliate.
KENNEDY SENT DOWN
Things are going from bad to worse for Tim Kennedy.
The 24-year-old forward was sent to the Hartford Wolfpack of the AHL by the New York Rangers Wednesday after sitting out the NHL club's first two games of the season.
During the summer, the Buffalo Sabres bought out Kennedy's contract after he was awarded a $1-million, one-year deal by an arbitrator. He signed a one-year contract with the Rangers at the end of August.
After recording two assists in four games during the pre-season, Kennedy watched the first two regular-season games from the stands. Last season he had 10 goals and 16 assists in 78 games with the Sabres.