Linesmen Brad Lazarowich #86 and Mike Cvik #88 try to seperate Shane O'Brien #5 of the Colorado Avalanche and Alex Burrows #14 of the Vancouver Canucks as they were penalized for roughing in the third period at the Pepsi Center on February 4, 2012 in Denver, Colorado.The Canucks defeated the Avalanche 3-2 in an overtime shoot out.
(February 3, 2012 - Source: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images North America)

Linesman feeling NHL lockout pinch


Over the course of the lockout, we’ve taken the time to highlight some of the collateral damage that this work stoppage is causing.

NHL referees and linesmen can make very desirable salaries, but still significantly less than most players and the owners. A veteran NHL ref can make up to $340,000 annually while a linesmen will get somewhere in the range of two-thirds of that, according to the Calgary Herald.

Under normal circumstances that wouldn’t be noteworthy, but the thing is that as long as the lockout is going, they aren’t getting paid either. They also don’t have access to a slush fund to help out. The best they are offered are interest-free loans of up to $5,000 monthly, which will count against their wages once they finally start making money again.

So it seems logical that linesmen like Mike Cvik would be following the lockout with great interest, even if they have no direct control over what happens. However, Cvik has already been forced to endure three work stoppages over his career and the 1993 officials’ strike on top of that, so he has a unique perspective.

“The lesson I learned in ’04,” Cvik told the Herald. “is to distance myself from it. Back then, I was hanging on every press release, watching every news report, reading whatever was available. And the roller-coaster ride was . . . sickening.”

This time around, the primary area of dispute between the players and owners is how to divide up an estimate $3.3 billion in annual hockey-related revenues.

“The amount of money they’re trying to split up, 98 per cent of the population would love to have that problem,” Cvik said. “And they’d figure it out.”

Cvik hopes that they do come to an agreement soon, but he’s also preparing for the worst.

“Hey, I’m fully prepared to jump on the ice tomorrow if they have a deal,” he said. “Either that or . . . I start sending out resumes. If we need to get through ’til next September. Or the September after that.”


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Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game 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.

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara

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’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.