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Dallas Stars executives Jim Lites and Jim Nill take 50% pay cut to help team employees

Mike Brehm
USA TODAY

As NHL teams begin laying off workers or cutting pay because of the uncertainty of the length of the coronavirus shutdown, one team's management corps is taking another strategy.

Dallas Stars president Jim Lites and general manager Jim Nill took a voluntary 50% pay cut, according to ESPN.

"We're just looking to help somebody else," Nill told the network. "Jim and I are very fortunate. The game's been great to us. But within our organization, we have a lot of younger people working who live paycheck to paycheck. We hope this is something that can help them down the road."

Pittsburgh Penguins executives David Morehouse and Jim Rutherford earlier took undisclosed pay cuts, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. 

Stars owner Tom Gaglardi and billionaire father Bob run Northland Properties, but Nill noted that the business is involved in hotels and restaurants, which have been hit hard by the pandemic.

“The Gaglardis have been really good to us, they’ve always said yes to us on things we’ve needed to do to build the franchise," Lites told The Dallas Morning News. "I feel a personal thanks to them, they’ve been really good to both of us.”

Uncertainty remains about when sports can resume as coronavirus cases increase.

The NHL paused the season on March 12 and recently told players and staff to remain in self-isolation until April 6. Wednesday, the NHL postponed the scouting combine, draft and NHL Awards show, which were scheduled for June.

The Boston Bruins are among teams with cutbacks, with Delaware North announcing that starting April 1, 68 full-time salaried employees at the team and TD Garden will go on temporary leave and another 82 will have their pay cut.

The Montreal Canadiens are doing temporary layoffs, too, and have set up an assistance fund for affected workers. 

Nill told ESPN that the Stars are still discussing finances and staffing. 

"But we felt that if we got ahead of this ourselves, maybe that helps out that part of it," he said.