BY GEORGE RICHARDS
Got an ominous text message from a former employee of the Florida Panthers on Tuesday morning.
"It's Black Tuesday,'' the text read.
The Panthers began laying people off on Tuesday, blaming the personnel moves on a lockout that is only a few days old. No one whom I spoke to would speak on the record; they hope to get their jobs back when the work stoppage is over.
The most headline-grabbing move was the Panthers laying off the man who played the role of Stanley C. Panther the past few years. As courtesy, I am not naming names on the blog.
You know things are tough when the mascot gets laid off. The Panthers also have begun letting season ticket holders know what their options are once games are cancelled. More on that later.
From the Panthers on the layoffs:
-- SUNRISE, Fla. – Sunrise Sports & Entertainment today released the following statement from President & COO Michael R. Yormark:
“Due primarily to the NHL work stoppage, but also due to changes and efficiencies in our normal business operations, SSE and the Florida Panthers instituted a number of staff adjustments today including staff reductions.
"We thank all of those former staff members for their efforts, while SSE’s human resources department has volunteered to work with these former staff members to assist them in finding new employment.
"Out of respect for both the former and current staff members, we will have no further comment at this time.”