According to published reports, Pittsburgh Penguins management including President and CEO David Morehouse will take a pay cut, and an unspecified number of employees will be furloughed beginning on June 1 due to the NHL coronavirus pause. Morehouse released a statement on Tuesday night.
Morehouse announced he will take a 50% pay cut. Senior management and coaches including head coach Mike Sullivan will take a 25% pay cut.
The move may cast doubt on the resumption of the NHL season, as the NHL has not yet formalized a proposal for a return-to-play scenario. Major League Baseball pitched an official proposal to the MLBPA on Tuesday.
Those impacted by this program will remain Penguins employees and receive full health benefits from the team. They also will be eligible for unemployment and stimulus benefits. Morehouse made the announcement via video conference to employees on Monday.
“With the continued uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic and its growing impact on our business, I have made the very painful decision to reduce our operations to help us weather this unprecedented health and financial crisis,” Morehouse reportedly said.
The Penguins President and CEO, and other department heads, reached out personally to the affected employees, who have been paid in full since the NHL paused their season on March 12.
“These decisions are extremely difficult, but they are necessary for us to endure this crisis, and to be able to resume our position as one of the best teams in sports whenever hockey returns,” Morehouse said.
“My hope is that hockey will resume in the relatively near future and that we will be back operating with increased staff.”
The Pittsburgh Penguins have been touted as one of the 12 potential pod cities for the NHL playoffs or NHL return. However, the league has not made any decisions. The most recent discussion centered on a 24-team playoff format without a conclusion to the regular season.