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Storm Advisory 3/26/20: NHL News, Links and Daily Roundup

Just when it looked like we’d run out of stuff to talk about...

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Jamie Kellner

Hurricanes send email to full-time employees regarding pay changes

On Wednesday, the News and Observer reported that full-time employees of the Hurricanes received an internal email from Don Waddell advising that after this week, they were to immediately use accrued vacation time and personal time off (PTO), and that employees without available vacation time or PTO would be off without pay.

The N&O originally reported the email said employees would no longer be paid after this week, which appeared to signal layoffs may be forthcoming. The article has since been updated (and the above tweet was later deleted) to clarify the directive for vacation and PTO time only applies to next week, and Waddell stated that while the policy would be reviewed on a week-to-week basis, everyone would continue to get paid and employee benefits would not be affected.

WRAL Sports also reached out to Tom Dundon for additional clarification and was told any reports of layoffs were “not even close” to being true. Dundon reinforced that full-time employees would be paid after the vacation/PTO time was exhausted and that if any employees are required to use unemployment benefits he would make up any difference.

Later Monday evening ABC 11 News also spoke with both Dundon and Waddell, who again confirmed the vacation/PTO request was for the upcoming week, and that employees would continue to be paid ongoing as they navigate “uncharted waters”. The ABC 11 report also includes a copy of the email that was sent to the Hurricanes employees.

This all comes on the heels of Monday’s announcement that the Hurricanes and PNC Arena were temporarily closing their offices and would begin working remotely. Wednesday, the NHL announced that its league offices are cutting their employee payroll by 25%. As a reminder, the Hurricanes had previously announced they would compensate arena staff for the home games missed during the month of March.

This situation is dynamic and confusing, complicated by the uncertainty of the timelines for when business can resume, along with rapidly-changing legislation at both state and federal levels. Economic stimulus and unemployment benefits changes are coming in an effort to manage the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, and Hurricanes leadership mentioned both as they continue mapping out a strategy for managing their workforce while their business is shut down.

Oh and by the way, happy two-week anniversary of the NHL hitting the pause button. Feels like two years.

We’ll keep you updated as additional information becomes available.

Storm Advisory

  • The NHL has instructed players to remain under self-quarantine for another 10 days... [SportsNet]
  • ... and NHL teams have now been asked for arena availabilities through August... [TSN]
  • ... and the 2020 NHL Scouting Combine (June 1-6), the NHL Awards show (June 18), and the NHL Draft (June 27-27) have officially been postponed. [NHL PR]
  • The KHL has announced it is officially canceling the remainder of its season. [TSN]
  • Hockey players don’t need face shields at the moment, but medial professionals do, so Bauer’s manufacturing plants are switching from hockey gear to medical gear. [ESPN]
  • Once a decision has to the fate of the 2019-20 season, the 2020 draft lottery balls are probably going to have to be allocated differently. [The Athletic $]
  • Justin Williams joined the OG Show with Joe Ovies and Joe Giglio to talk about what he’s been going while he’s off the ice (March 25 show, first interview). [WRALSportsFan]
  • This week’s 31 Thoughts involves a check-in with players from around the league (look for the Canes to be represented in thought #18). [SportsNet]
  • Here are at least ten things we shouldn’t forget about the Canes’ 2019-20 season. [The Athletic $]
  • PNC Arena is still holding its emergency blood drive today. [click here for details]
  • And last but not least, if the 2019-20 season does resume, there’s a good chance fans could see Dougie Hamilton back. That and a few other updates in a conversation with Rod Brind’Amour. [NHL]