NHL Lockout, Day 5: Blue Jackets Coaches, Execs To Absorb Salary Cuts
Blue Jackets execs and coaches "will absorb salary cuts of up to 50 percent in the coming weeks," according to Aaron Portzline of the COLUMBUS DISPATCH. Sources said that the team's scouts -- "many of whom still will be scouting in minor leagues and junior leagues during the lockout -- will endure a 30 percent salary cut." Portzline reports the rest of the front office, including club-employed broadcasters, was "informed in a staff meeting on Tuesday that they will be hit with 10 to 15 percent salary cuts and a four-day workweek should the lockout extend beyond Nov. 1." Nationwide Arena workers have "been informed by the Convention Facilities Authority that no layoffs or pay cuts are coming." However, Franklin County (Ohio) Convention Facilities Authority Exec Dir Bill Jennison said that part-time employees will "work fewer hours with each canceled game." The Blue Jackets "hope that by reducing salaries they will be able to avoid layoffs among their front-office staff of roughly 130 employees" (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 9/20).
PLAYING IT CLOSE TO THE VEST: In Calgary, Wes Gilbertson writes Flames President & CEO Ken King is "tight-lipped about the details of the Flames’ contingency plan during the latest NHL lockout, but the news around the Saddledome was more positive than at some other NHL arenas." The Flames employ a full-time staff of "about 165 people, and that number won’t shrink during the current labour dispute." However, "some front-office types and other employees are accepting paycuts as a result of the stalemate between the NHL and NHLPA." In most cases, the "reduction in salary and workload takes effect Oct. 1." King said, "The salary and work-requirement cuts are on an ascending level, meaning that those at the executive level will face the largest cuts and then that moves down through the group. Those at a certain level will not be affected at all” (CALGARY SUN, 9/20). Meanwhile, Red Wings Senior Communications Dir John Hahn said team execs "don't have any plans to lay anyone off" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 9/20).
AMERICAN INGENUITY: In Rochester, Kevin Oklobzija reports the AHL Rochester Americans will move their Oct. 21 home game "to Oct. 23 at the First Niagara Center in downtown Buffalo." If the lockout "extends well into December, one or more additional Amerk games could be moved to Buffalo." Sabres President Ted Black said that "nothing else in October or November will be touched." He added that he "understands that many Amerk season-ticket holders may not like the switch, but added that every attempt will be made to make the switch as painless as possible." Oklobzija notes during the '04-05 lockout, the Amerks "played four games in Buffalo and averaged 15,160 fans" (ROCHESTER DEMOCRAT & CHRONICLE, 9/20).