Linesman feeling NHL lockout pinch

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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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Lockout would impact more than just owners, players, and fans