Nearly two weeks after the United States Women’s National Hockey Team announced that they’d be boycotting the upcoming World Championships, the squad has reached an agreement with USA Hockey. The two sides announced that they’ve finalized a new four-year deal “that will result in groundbreaking support” for the USWNT. According to Ken Campbell of THN.com (via Twitter), the deal is believed to be between $3.7MM and $4MM.
Previous reports had indicated that the players were looking for better financial support after dedicating years to the team. An ESPN story claimed that the women received only $1,000 for each of their six months of Olympic residency, and nothing during the remainder of the four years of training. With the new deal, the women will receive $2,000 a month and could earn up to $71K in non-Olympic years (via Campbell). The team is also set to receive the same amenities as the men’s team, including flying business class.
It had been a war of words since then, as USA Hockey stated that they were “disappointed” in the player’s demands. On the flip side, captain Meghan Duggan said that USA Hockey’s statements were “incredibly dishonest and misleading.” Following the NHLPA’s public support of the women, there were rumblings that American NHL players may refuse to play in this spring’s World Championships in solidarity. Fortunately, the two sides quickly moved to find a resolution, and reports from this morning indicated that a new deal was close.
“Today reflects everyone coming together and compromising in order to reach a resolution for the betterment of the sport,” said Jim Smith, the president of USA Hockey. “We’ll now move forward together knowing we’ll look back on this day as one of the most positive in the history of USA Hockey.”
“Our sport is the big winner today,” said Duggan. “We stood up for what we thought was right and USA Hockey’s leadership listened. In the end, both sides came together. I’m proud of my teammates and can’t thank everyone who supported us enough. It’s time now to turn the page. We can’t wait to play in the World Championship later this week in front of our fans as we try and defend our gold medal.”
The powerhouse program will return to work immediately, as ESPN’s Craig Custance tweets that the squad will practice on Thursday in preparation for their matchup against Canada on Friday night.
I was in the Olympics and all I got was this lousy T-shirt