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No NHL Players Association rule prohibiting three games in three days

NEWARK, N.J. — When the Lightning and Devils on Sunday played the conclusion of Friday's suspended game, both were in action for the third straight day.

Though the collective bargaining agreement doesn't specifically prohibit such scheduling, the league was sure to consult with the players association to make sure it did not object.

The agreement's Rule 16.3 gives the union the right to review the regular-season schedule and bring concerns to the league, which must do its best to accommodate requests.

As players association spokesman Jonathan Weatherdon wrote in an e-mail, "The NHLPA reviews the league schedule prior to it being finalized by the NHL and would not approve games being played on three straight days."

But because of the circumstances surrounding this game, the players association gave its non-precedent-setting blessing.

If you wanted to split hairs, you could argue the teams did not really play three games in three days, but two, their Saturday games sandwiched between the first and second halves of another.

"I don't think there's anything (in the bargaining agreement) that says you can't play a half a game one day and a half a game the other day," Lightning GM Brian Lawton said.

One thing not in dispute:

"It's one of those bizarre things," Lawton said. "It happens. It's not a big deal, and we'll move forward."

RULES OF ENGAGEMENT: The teams had to use Friday's lineups, which meant C Jeff Halpern, who Saturday played his first game after healing from a lower-body injury, was back in the press box.

D Andrej Meszaros, scratched Friday, played because D Matt Smaby is out with an upper-body injury sustained in Saturday's loss to the Flyers. Smaby seemed to go shoulder-first into the side boards after he got tangled up with Philadelphia's Danny Briere.

D David Hale, also scratched Friday, replaced D Mattias Ohlund, out with a stomach virus. The Devils' lineup was the same.

QUOTABLE TO NOTE: "In my 16 months here, I've seen it all. But you know what? It builds your resiliency, and you try to move on." — Lightning coach Rick Tocchet.

ODDS AND ENDS: We will know at noon today if AHL Norfolk F Martins Karsums clears waivers. … The popular "Unplugged" series continues Wednesday with centers Steven Stamkos and Zenon Konopka appearing from 6-8 p.m. at Barnacles Restaurant, 926 Providence Road, Brandon.

No NHL Players Association rule prohibiting three games in three days 01/10/10 [Last modified: Sunday, January 10, 2010 11:22pm]
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