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Vancouver sports bars cutting back on hiring over NHL lockout fears

Hockey players won't be the only ones out of work if an NHL agreement isn't reached by the deadline just before midnight Saturday.

Sports bars are cutting back on their fall hiring in anticipation of the potential lockout.

Bryan Maguire, who manages G Sports Bar & Grill on Granville Street, said he would have hired three or four servers this month, but that doesn't look likely now.

"We'll lose at least 20 per cent business, guaranteed, probably 30 per cent," he told Metro Friday.

"We always do a hiring at the end of summer just before fall starts, but we have the staff we have, and obviously we don't need to bring anybody new on."

Darryl Paquin, manager of the Red Card Sports Bar, said he will still be doing some hiring, but only about half as much if the Canucks don't sign a deal.

"I've never run a sports bar when there was labour unrest so I can't tell you the direct impact, but just overall common sense would say if you have hockey games you have people and if you don't have hockey games you don't have people," he said.

"I think I'm going to hire three staff instead of say, six staff, so about a 50 per cent reduction."

The collective bargaining agreement between the league and NHL Players' Association expires at 11:59 p.m. Saturday. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has issued a lockout deadline for that time.

- With a file from The Canadian Press

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