The NHL lockout is not even a week old, but it has cost the Florida Panthers’ mascot his job. At least for now.
The man who served as Florida’s fuzzy mascot Stanley C. Panther was one of about a dozen laid off by the organization, sources told The Miami Herald.
Many of those laid off were told they may return once the lockout comes to an end. The layoffs came mostly in arena operations and sales.
The Ottawa Senators are the only other NHL team to announce employee terminations this early. Some teams, like Minnesota, will cut back salaries during the work stoppage.
“We thank all of those former staff members for their efforts,” team president Michael Yormark said in a statement, adding that his human resources department “has volunteered to work with these former staff members to assist them in finding new employment.”
The team wouldn’t comment further.
The Panthers will not be refunding money to their most ardent fans anytime soon, either. Once games begin to be canceled, season ticket holders will have the option of getting 10 percent of monies paid to the team forwarded to future ticket sales or get a 5 percent refund. Fans also can get full refunds if the entire season is canceled.
Any refunds wouldn’t come until the lockout ends and a revised schedule is announced.