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Volume 26 No. 134
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Stars Leadership Takes 50% Pay Cut To Alleviate Financial Stress

Jim Lites made the decision last week, noting he is "fighting like hell" for his employees
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Jim Lites made the decision last week, noting he is "fighting like hell" for his employees
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Jim Lites made the decision last week, noting he is "fighting like hell" for his employees
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Stars CEO Jim Lites and GM Jim Nill have "taken temporary 50% pay cuts retroactive to the NHL’s suspension on March 12 in an attempt to help alleviate financial stress on the organization," according to Matthew DeFranks of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. A "sharp decline in revenue could lead to salary reductions and layoffs by organizations, and Lites’ and Nill’s efforts can help offset that slightly." Lites said, “I’m fighting like hell to make sure we do as much as we can for all of our employees, because they have worked really hard." DeFranks notes Lites and Nill follow Penguins President & CEO David Morehouse and Exec VP & GM Jim Rutherford as execs "taking pay cuts during the NHL’s pause." Lites and Nill said that their decision was "reached last week." Stars President Brad Alberts said that a decision on the rest of the season "would affect the organization’s decision on staffing" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 3/26). ESPN.com's Greg Wyshynski noted the Canadiens and Bruins this week "announced layoffs for salaried employees." The Devils also "announced they were cutting salaries by 20%," but Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment co-Founder Josh Harris "reversed that decision and apologized publicly for it" (ESPN.com, 3/25).

IN THE EYE OF THE STORM: In Raleigh, Chip Alexander reports Hurricanes President & GM Don Waddell yesterday "clarified an email he sent to full-time employees about their pay." Yesterday's email indicated that "non-contracted employees were being required to immediately use accrued vacation time or personal time off (PTO) beginning next week." Waddell in an interview yesterday said, "Everyone will get paid and we’ll figure it out after that.” He also said that the directive "applied only to next week and that the team policy would be reviewed on a week-to-week basis, adding that the employees’ benefits would not be affected." Waddell said Hurricanes Owner & CEO Tom Dundon's "goal through this whole process has been not to harm anyone or lay anyone off." The Hurricanes on March 17 said that they "would cover the lost wages of their PNC Arena staff and part-time events staff for the seven final home games of the regular-season." On Monday, the Hurricanes said that they were "temporarily closing the team offices at PNC Arena on Tuesday," adding that hockey and business operations "would continue, with employees working remotely" (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 3/26).

FOR THE FANS: In Winnipeg, Jason Bell notes NHL Jets season-ticket holders "already have skin in the game" for the suspended '19-20 campaign, and some have "already paid for a playoff run that might never materialize." But the team yesterday said that it "won’t ask customers to start shelling out" for the '20-21 regular season just yet. Bell notes some season-ticket holders "would have started paying monthly as of mid-April, however, the Jets are changing their payment schedule." The revised timeline "hasn’t been finalized." Season-ticket holders can, "if they prefer, begin monthly payments on April 15 but need to contact the Jets for that to happen" (WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, 3/26).