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AHL’s Utica Comets sell ‘Puck the Virus’ shirts in hopes of helping employees

Utica Comets Puck the Virus shirts proceeds to employees

Here’s an opinion: there’s really no excuse for NHL teams not to take care of their employees during this “pause” because of the coronavirus. Maybe you can hem and haw about the arenas being responsible vs. NHL teams ... but the point remains: take care of your employees.

Things can be more complicated for teams in leagues that aren’t so rich, though.

The AHL’s Utica Comets are taking a creative (and punny) approach to trying to help raise money for staff members with their “Puck the Virus” shirts. The Syracuse Post-Standard’s Lindsay Kramer reports that proceeds from the shirts will go toward the salaries of about 50 full-time employees who work for Mohawk Valley Garden, the Comets’ parent company.

For a blast from the past, consider this statement from Comets president and former NHL goalie Robert Esche.

Good stuff, and here’s hoping these “Puck The Virus” shirts cover the bases for the Comets’ staff. (Maybe the Canucks could even kick in a little for their AHL affiliate? Just throwing it out there.)

And, just to emphasize it once more: NHL teams, pay your employees. Just make it happen, and no, relying on Brad Marchand to promote fans’ GoFundMe accounts isn’t good enough.


James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.