Rangers deny hockey has gentleman's agreement on not watching other team practise

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NEW YORK, N.Y. - Rangers coach Alain Vigneault has fired back at the Canadiens, saying there is no such thing as a gentleman's agreement that coaches not watch the other team practise on off-days.

Montreal coach Michel Therrien was unhappy Saturday that two New York assistant coaches were on hand for the team's off-day skate, asking them in no uncertain terms to leave.

Vigneault responded Sunday by saying his staff was treated unfairly.

He said there was no agreement in place and he called such deals the exception rather than the rule in hockey.

If they happen, he said it's because the opposing coach or GM calls to ask for it.

Vigneault called the Montreal behaviour regrettable, adding it was lucky the situation did not escalate.

Game 4 of the Eastern Conference final goes Sunday night. New York leads the series two games to one.

Vigneault said Derek Stepan, whose jaw was broken by Brandon Prust in Game 3, was recovering at home from surgery. He called forward Derick Brassard a game-time decision but said it looked likely he would play. Brassard has been out since early in Game 1 with an upper body injury.

Organizations: Canadiens

Geographic location: Montreal, New York, NEW YORK, N.Y.

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