Canadiens to Temporarily Lay Off 60% of Employees During COVID-19 Hiatus

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 24, 2020

MONTREAL, QC - OCTOBER 17:  A detail of the Montreal Canadiens logo is seen during the first period against the Minnesota Wild at the Bell Centre on October 17, 2019 in Montreal, Canada.  The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Minnesota Wild 4-0.  (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

The Montreal Canadiens announced Tuesday they will lay off 60 percent of personnel in a "temporary reduction" that will take effect March 30.

The NHL season has been suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Groupe CH, which owns the team, has established a $6 million assistance fund for the affected employees to earn 80 percent of their base salary for a period of eight weeks.

Groupe CH owner, president and CEO Geoff Molson discussed the move in a statement:

"Now more than ever, it is important to support our community and demonstrate our solidarity to one another. We are working extremely hard to limit the impact this situation will have on our employees. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our employees for their understanding and patience. During difficult times like these, our commitment to one another will help us rebound faster."

The New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia 76ers announced Monday they would be reducing the salaries of full-time employees by 20 percent, per Marc Stein of the New York Times. However, the ownership group decided to change course after public pressure, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

The remaining NHL teams will try to stay afloat with plenty of uncertainty around when the league will return to action.

As of Tuesday, COVID-19 has been confirmed in more than 372,000 cases worldwide, leading to over 16,000 deaths, per the World Health Organization.

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