SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Panthers announced the layoffs of an unknown number of staff members Tuesday, only the third full day of the NHL's lockout.
The Panthers are believed to be the NHL's second team to publicly announce layoffs since the league's collective bargaining agreement with its players expired at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday and ushered in the league's fourth work stoppage in the last 20 years.
The Ottawa Senators have already had layoffs and full-time employees have been placed on a reduced work week.
"Due primarily to the NHL work stoppage, but also due to changes and efficiencies in our normal business operations, SSE and the Florida Panthers instituted a number of staff adjustments today including staff reductions," Panthers President and Chief Operating Officer Michael Yormark wrote in a statement distributed Tuesday afternoon.
SSE refers to Sunrise Sports and Entertainment, the company that owns and operates the Panthers.
As of Tuesday, the team listed 149 employees on its staff directory across all platforms, including hockey operations, business operations, arena operations and at the team's training facility.
Jobs were reduced in multiple departments.
"We thank all of those former staff members for their efforts," Yormark wrote, adding that the team's human resource department would try to help the former employees with placement into other jobs.
The team declined further comment.
The league could announce the cancellation of preseason games as early as this week, and it would appear that training camps are almost certainly not going to open on time.
A number of teams — those reached by The Associated Press on Monday included Buffalo, Carolina, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Washington and Detroit — said they are not planning lockout-related layoffs at this time, though some warned changes could happen depending on how long the work stoppage lasts. Some teams have announced plans regarding policies for season-ticket refunds or other options, and other clubs like plan on reducing salaries for at least their highest-paid employees.
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