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Report: Devils players skated during mandated holiday break

Adam Oates

New Jersey Devils coach Adam Oates, second from left, instructs players during a practice on Saturday, Dec. 27, 2014, in Newark, N.J. Devils are replacing the fired Pete DeBoer with a three-headed coaching staff. Former Washington Capitals coach Oates, ex-Devils assistant and star defenseman Scott Stevens and general manager Lou Lamoriello will split duties on the bench. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)


Ryan Getzlaf and other Anaheim Ducks players drew some attention from the NHL for an “informal practice” that ran the risk of violating the CBA’s mandated holiday break on Dec. 26. Did members of the New Jersey Devils do something similar?

The Bergen Record’s Tom Gulitti reports that some Devils players gathered at the Prudential Center’s practice rink that day, which happened to be the day that head coach Peter DeBoer was fired. Players told Gulitti that coaches “obviously” weren’t involved, while the report indicates that the league isn’t looking into the situation.

Here’s a little more from that report:

So far, it doesn’t appear the Devils did anything illegal or are in any trouble with the NHL. A league spokesperson confirmed that the NHL is looking into “a few” teams that held informal Dec. 26 practices, but said it is “unclear if any were more than captain’s skates, which wouldn’t be prohibited.”

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said via email there was “nothing I know of on the Devils.”

A source said the Rangers were among the teams already questioned about their Dec. 26 activities and were not found to have done anything illegal.

Devils GM Lou Lamoriello simply said “that would be their prerogative if they wanted to do that.”

Ultimately, it sounds like this won’t cause any issues, yet it’s interesting to note. Naturally, if anything changes, PHT will share details.

These guys just can’t stay away from the rink, eh?

Update: It looks like all is clear.

Follow James O’Brien @cyclelikesedins