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Lockout Leaves Senior, Retired Players In Limbo

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

Forced to quit school at the age of 14 to work at a Kitchener shoe factory for 18 cents an hour during the Great Depression, Milt Schmidt knows something about hard times.

Somewhere between hard times and broken promises lives uncertainty, the kind of uncertainty in which the 94-year-old Schmidt, the second oldest former NHLer still living, finds himself as the current NHL lockout rages between the billionaires and millionaires.

It’s an outrage, one that could be remedied by the stroke of a pen. Instead, players like Schmidt, Jean Beliveau, Johnny Bower and Gordie Howe who built the league and were already horribly shortchanged on their pensions are now being held hostage by the ongoing NHL labour squabble.

Seven years ago, the NHL and the NHL Players’ Association finally eased that embarrassing pension burden by establishing a supplemental Senior Benefit Plan for players 65 years of age and older.

But when the current collective bargaining agreement with the league expired Sept. 15, so too did the Senior Benefit. Now, with the next payment due in January and no end in sight to the current lockout, more than 300 vulnerable former NHLers or their surviving widows have been left in limbo.


Filed in: NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink


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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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