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Linesman feeling NHL lockout pinch

Oct 25, 2012, 11:02 PM EDT

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) Getty Images

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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  1. antkowiak666 - Oct 25, 2012 at 11:25 PM

    another innocent victim collected up into the GREED of the PLAYERS and OWNERS!!

  2. capsrockva - Oct 25, 2012 at 11:38 PM

    just get the GD thing done

  3. bleed4philly - Oct 26, 2012 at 12:12 AM

    This is getting really stupid.

  4. hockeyflow33 - Oct 26, 2012 at 1:17 AM

    College and junior leagues pay nowhere near that much

  5. jmbates10 - Oct 26, 2012 at 6:48 AM

    The National Hockey League is slowly becoming irrelevant and if this collection of idiots can’t figure out how to get this agreement consummated it will become permanently irrelevant.
    In the meantime, innocent victims are scattered throughout the land, which begs a question, that being;

    Has anybody seen where GARY BETTMAN has reduced his salary down to a $1.00 like Goodell did? I sure haven’t.

    • miketoasty - Oct 26, 2012 at 8:53 AM

      I agree with you on your first thought. The league is somewhat quickly becoming an afterthought. With baseball at the World Series and football in full swing, people are forgetting about hockey and spending their money elsewhere. It’s kind of funny that they keep using that $3.3 Billion number because when hockey starts up again I don’t think we will be seeing that kind of money being spent on hockey.

    • workerparasite - Oct 26, 2012 at 3:20 PM

      Gary’s forgoing his salary during the lockout, unlike last time:–nhl-labour-gary-bettman-donald-fehr-to-forfeit-pay-during-lockout

  6. dutchman1350 - Oct 26, 2012 at 8:12 AM

    How about the local bartender, food server, usher, janitor, security guard, parking attendant?

    • blomfeld - Oct 26, 2012 at 9:10 AM

      Yes friend … when you factor in the economic “multiplier” effect, then the damage becomes far greater than just the 3.3 billion dollars … it’s sheer madness, which is why I don’t think this goes on for much longer …

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