NHL employees to take pay cuts

NEW YORK -- The NHL is making cuts across the board for all of its employees as a direct result of the lockout that began last weekend.

The NHL informed its office staffers Wednesday morning that they would be forced to take 20 percent pay cuts and would transition to a four-day workweek beginning Oct. 1, multiple sources confirmed to ESPNNewYork.com.

The cuts are coming on the heels of the league's third work stoppage since the 1994-95 season. The current lockout commenced Sunday when the collective bargaining agreement expired. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman warned the NHLPA for months that the league intended to lock the players out if no deal was reached by Sept. 15, and he proved that was no idle threat.

Deputy commissioner Bill Daly said on TSN radio Wednesday that both he and Bettman would forego their entire salaries during the lockout.

Since the lockout started, a flood of NHL players have headed overseas to play in Europe with labor talks at a standstill. Although Daly and NHLPA special counsel Steve Fehr have been in constant communication -- the two planned to speak Wednesday -- there have been no substantive discussions since last week, when the two sides traded proposals.

There remains a significant gulf between the league and union on the core economic concepts, which are vital to brokering a new deal. The union does not want to take any immediate, absolute salary reduction, while the league wants to decrease the players' share in revenue.