According to article 16.4 of the collective bargaining agreement, "Except in case of emergency, there shall be no reduction of the required minimum Playing Rosters of the Clubs, below eighteen (18) skaters and two (2) goaltenders."
The Devils had injuries to two players - forward Brian Rolston and defenceman Anton Volchenkov – while suspended, many-named forward Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond was placed on waivers. However, it would be difficult to categorize these as emergencies, given that the injuries and suspensions occurred on Saturday. Therefore, the Devils had plenty of time before Monday’s game to call up replacements from their farm team in Albany.
The only “emergency” is GM Lou Lamoriello’s complete mismanagement of the team’s salary cap. Simply put, Sweet Lou was unable to ice a full roster because the extra players would have pushed his team over the NHL’s $59.4 million salary cap.
At this time there are no indications that the NHL will be doling out any punishment to the Devils. The simple question is, why? As stated, this is clearly a circumvention of the CBA. More importantly, it's a competitive balance issue that could have ramifications for playoff positions this season.
Look at it this way. The Pittsburgh Penguins got to face a 15 man NHL team the same day the Senators faced Washington, an 18 man NHL team. How is that fair? The league always complains when teams don't dress their stars in early April, resting them for the playoffs. Where is the outcry today? The last time I checked, points earned in October are worth the same as points earned in April.