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Daily Cupcakes - Links from around the locked out NHL - September 19th, 2012

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While many fans are moaning the loss of hockey, let's keep in mind that there are many who need the NHL to come out of a lockout to provide for their families. Both the Florida Panthers and the Ottawa Senators have announced layoffs and reduced hours due to the lockout. Even the Panthers mascot wasn't safe.

The Florida Panthers announced the layoffs of an unknown number of staff members Tuesday, only the third full day of the NHL’s lockout.

The Panthers are believed to be the NHL’s second team to publicly announce layoffs since the league’s collective bargaining agreement with its players expired at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday and ushered in the league’s fourth work stoppage in the last 20 years. Even the team’s mascot, Stanley C. Panther, is out of a job, according to the Miami Herald.

The Ottawa Senators have already had layoffs and full-time employees have been placed on a reduced work week.

There are some odd cases showing up since the lockout.

Throughout the lead-up to the NHL lockout, there's been plenty of uncertainty about how it would affect the Canadian Hockey League and 20-year-old overage players. As late as last week, four days before the deadline, one signed 20-year-old draft pick had no idea if he could play in his team's regular-season opener.

Please bear in mind this is a situation specific to the Regina Pats and defenceman Colton Jobke. But Jobke, who was a free-agent signing two seasons ago, has been told he can't play while he's technically assigned to the American League. If he had been assigned to the CHL, which some NHL teams have already done, then it would be no problem.

Some Montreal Canadiens are practicing on their own - together - but notice big differences.

There is no big-screen TV; no refrigerator filled with water and energy drinks. There is no resistance pool, no hot tub, no cold tub. There is no easy access from the underground parking lot. And there are no coaches or support staff to make life easier.

Captain Brian Gionta, who is coming off surgery to repair a torn bicep, said he appreciated having a therapist available when he felt a twinge.

The players had to fill their own water bottles and goaltender Carey Price noted that some players had to scrounge for sticks, pads and sweaters — never a problem when equipment manager Pierre Gervais and his staff are on duty.

"There was one guy out here without shoulder pads and another guy didn’t have socks," Price noted. And instead of fresh practice jerseys with a Subway logo, the players wore a variety of generic sweaters.