September 13, 2012; New York, NY, USA; NHL commissioner Gary Bettman speaks during a press conference at the Crowne Plaza Times Square. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-US PRESSWIRE

The Lockout Ripple Effect

We all know that fans are suffering because of this lockout between the players and owners, but we often forget about the many other employees of NHL teams that this debacle is affecting. Even worse, there are other businesses that the lockout hurts indirectly.For example, I have a friend who works at a bar near the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. On a typical Saturday night during hockey season she can make upwards of $230. Now with no hockey going on, she has seen several shifts cancelled and would be lucky to pull in $50 a night.

NHL teams are also feeling the pinch and are starting to make some staffing moves. There was an interesting article that ESPN did this week on what several teams have decided to do because of the lockout. Some clubs are not making any changes, while others have chosen to layoff some workers and reduce work weeks.

Some teams as expected haven’t done anything yet. The Toronto Maple Leafs, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, and Boston Bruins have no plans for any layoffs according to sources. And if you read the Forbes article earlier this week on the league’s most highly valued franchises, then you would know why.

Other teams are not so lucky, however, and have had to cut costs. Organizations like the Florida Panthers, St. Louis Blues, and Columbus Blue Jackets have laid some employees off, reduced work weeks, and cut salaries. Not all that surprising considering the financial state of these teams, but some other squads that have made cost cutting moves may surprise you.

The Montreal Canadiens for example have reduced their employees to four day work weeks. It seems like a hockey hotbed like Montreal could survive pretty much unscathed, but not so apparently.

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