The NHL locked out its players on Sunday and as a result, the Ottawa Senators were forced to lay off a significant number of their 170 full-time staff.
Club president Cyril Leeder declined to give an exact number of how many staff were laid off on Monday morning, but said the cuts were widespread.
“It’s a significant number — more than 10 (laid off). It’s a significant number,” Leeder told reporters on Monday afternoon. “We provided notice about a month ago and it took effect today.”
Those staff members who were not laid off are now working four-day weeks at a reduced salary. Leeder said there are no current plans to push them to a three-day work week if the lockout extends well into the fall.
“It’s not good for anybody when we have a work stoppage and the people most affected are the staff here,” added Leeder. “Our current focus is we expect to deliver a full season, so the staff that are here are working hard so that when we come back, we’re ready to go.”
Leeder said that while season ticket sales have cooled in recent weeks, the club is still ahead of their levels from last season. Once regular season games are cancelled, the club will offer season ticket holders the chance for a full refund — or they can leave their money with the Senators with five per cent interest.
The organization is saying they’ve been in contact with their season ticket holders and clients in the past few weeks, as the lockout deadline was approaching.
“We’re getting lots of feedback,” Leeder explained. “It’s primarily the same message: They’re not mad at the owners, they’re not mad at the players — they’re mad at both of us and they just want us to get together and make a deal to get hockey playing again.”
Earlier on Monday, the club confirmed they have cancelled their charity golf tournament that was scheduled for later this week.