GAME OFF!! NHL Cancels Pre-Season Games
The NHL lockout is only a few days old but its effects are already being felt around the league.
With a number of big-name players continuing to head for Europe, NHL employees were informed Wednesday that their salaries are scheduled to be cut 20 per cent across the board.
That will come into effect on Oct. 1, when full-time staff are reduced to a four-day work week.
The news was delivered by commissioner Gary Bettman during a Wednesday morning staff meeting, according to league spokesman Gary Meagher.
The NHL also announced the cancellation of pre-season games through Sept. 30, as well as the postponement of the Kraft
Hockeyville pre-season game scheduled for Oct. 3 in Belleville, to the 2013-14 season.
Unlike in September 2004, when more than 50 per cent of NHL employees were laid off just days into the lockout, the league is trying to avoid cutting staff.
Deputy commissioner Bill Daly told The Canadian Press over the weekend that there were no immediate plans for layoffs, although multiple sources who attended Wednesday's meeting said employees were warned that further cuts
could be coming in the future.
A number of teams, including the Ottawa Senators and Florida Panthers, announced layoffs earlier this week. The Senators also placed their remaining staff on a reduced work schedule.
``Every full-time, every part-time employee is affected by a work stoppage,'' team president Cyril Leeder said Monday.
Bettman and Daly both decided to forgo their salary during the lockout, according to sources. Donald Fehr, the executive director of the NHL Players' Association, hasn't been paid since the beginning of July.
As the lockout moved into its fourth day, there were still no formal bargaining sessions scheduled between the league and NHLPA.
The sides last sat down together on Sept. 12.