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Edmonton Oilers announce plan to pay part-time staff amid NHL stoppage

The Edmonton Oilers have announced a plan to offer assistance to part-time employees affected by the NHL’s stoppage in play.

In a statement, OEG president of business operations Tom Anselmi said the stoppage has “created an even more difficult situation for our nearly 1,650 part-time staff.”

“As a result, we are rolling out an assistance program to ensure their well-being is protected,” Anselmi said. “All part-time staff affected by a temporary halt in our operations will receive financial payment to bridge them between their maximum EI benefits and their regular average earnings for remaining regular season games.”

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Anselmi said the team will continue with a food program that sees excess food and beverage inventory donated to the Edmonton Food Bank.

Clubs across the NHL have stepped up in a similar way. A total of 13 other clubs: Anaheim, Dallas, Detroit, Florida, Nashville, New Jersey, Philadephia, Pittsburgh, San Jose, Tampa Bay, Toronto, Washington and Vancouver will be offering some form of assistance.

The Calgary Flames, meanwhile, announced earlier today that they would not be compensating employees.

The news that the Oilers are stepping up to assist their employees is tremendous and a true bright spot in a dark time in the world. The NHL, of course, announced earlier this week that due to concern over the COVID-19 outbreak that has infected over 150,000 and killed nearly 6,000, they would be temporarily halting their season.

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It’s sent massive shockwaves around the sports world with thousands and thousands of employees being affected. To see OEG stepping up in such a big way to help those who need it most is encouraging.

On Twitter: @zjlaing