SUN Hockey Pool

Lack of hockey hurting bars, wages

KEVIN CONNOR -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:52 AM ET

The cancellation of the hockey season will cause a landslide of bankruptcies, trustees say. Businesses and individuals are already jamming debt hotlines and the official end of the season isn't even a week old, said Douglas Hoyes, a bankruptcy trustee with Hoyes, Michalos and Associates.

"Calls to our debt hotline are up significantly this year and unless employees in the NHL-dependent jobs find other employment, those people will suffer some hardship in 2005," Hoyes said.

BEER SALES DRY UP

"We are starting to hear stories from our clients who work in the service industry that hours are being cut and income is dropping.

"If you work as a bartender at a sports bar, a significant part of your income may depend on Saturday night beer sales, which are drying up with no NHL hockey."

Consumer bankruptcy filings are expected to increase 5% to 8% this year because of the lockout, said Benny Mendlowitz, another bankruptcy trustee.

"In February, March and April, trustee receivers will see a lot of people who can't get out from under their debt load," he said.


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