Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Jets come up with 'contingency' plan

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THE Winnipeg Jets have sent a note to their season-ticket holders, suite holders, corporate partners and ticket waiting-list members about matters relating to next week's potential NHL lockout of the players.

The Jets didn't say what they'd be doing in the case the lockout actually happens, but informed their "stakeholders" that they're developing a "contingency" plan in the event any 2012-13 exhibition or regular-season games are cancelled.

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Jets senior director of corporate communications Scott Brown said Thursday the club had only a few calls about the note, and those were to thank them for the information update.

The team said in its statement that it would be communicating the specifics of customer options as soon as the lockout takes effect, which could be as early as next Saturday.

The NHL and the NHL Players Association have been talking about a new labour agreement but don't have any meetings scheduled and do not appear to be anywhere close to putting a new deal into place.

A large number of players will attend information meetings in New York next week on Wednesday and Thursday. And on next Thursday afternoon, the NHL's owners will also be meeting in New York, no doubt to get an update from commissioner Gary Bettman.

Here's the text of the Jets' note to their stakeholders on Thursday:

Jim Ludlow, President & CEO of True North Sports & Entertainment Limited and the Winnipeg Jets Hockey Club Inc. along with Norva Riddell, Senior Vice-President, Sales & Marketing, issued the following statement today in a letter addressed to all Winnipeg Jets stakeholders, including Season Ticket Holders, Premium Suite Holders, Corporate Partners, and Wait List Members:

"As you may be aware from recent reports in the media, the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players' Association are currently engaged in the process of negotiating a successor Collective Bargaining Agreement to their current Agreement, which expires Saturday, September 15th, 2012. Although it is the League's objective to successfully conclude negotiations for the new Agreement by September 15th, it is possible this may not occur.

In the event a new Agreement is not reached in this timeframe, and a work stoppage ensues, the Winnipeg Jets' training camp could be postponed, and there is the potential for preseason and regular season games to be cancelled. The purpose of this letter is therefore threefold: (1) to ensure you are aware of the possibility of this occurring, (2) to advise you that we have developed contingency plans including policies and procedures in the event of game cancellations and, (3) to advise you that we will communicate these contingency plans to you immediately upon being advised by the League that a work stoppage has formally commenced.

It remains our hope, as well as that of the League and all those involved, that agreement on the terms of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement will be reached in short order..."

-- Tim Campbell

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 7, 2012 C6

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