The unfortunate truth is that an NHL lockout is not just about players and owners fighting over a $3.3 billion pie while the fans watch from the sidelines. Professional hockey helps local economies and if it goes away temporarily due to a lockout, everyday workers will suffer financially.
“It is the part-time employees, those who are relying on a little bit of an extra bump to meet ends on their a car payments or on their mortgages,” sports business commentator Tom Mayenknecht said, according to a CTV News report.
“We’re talking about waitresses, bartenders in pubs that have a big spike when there is NHL hockey being played.”
One example of that is the Shark Club in Vancouver, which has 30 people doing shift work on a night when the Vancouver Canucks are playing. On any other night, the place needs under 10 employees.
“In our situation we obviously aren’t going to be hiring, like we would normally be bringing on some extra people. And plus our regular staff, there’ll be cut backs now in their hours. There’ll just be less work, less days,” Shark Club owner John Teti said.
Jim Sinclair from the BC Federation of Labour estimates that there are “tens of thousand of people all over North America who will be affected by this directly, in their pocketbook.”
In other words, if there’s a lockout, the Shark Club’s story won’t be a unique one.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.