After several members of the US Women’s National Team extended a message to USA Hockey about their boycotting the upcoming World Championships, the national program released its own statement on the subject. Understanding the frustration of the women who are reportedly given just $6000 each for their Olympic training and participation, USA Hockey stated that they have long supported their female athletes.
The support USA Hockey is implementing in order to prepare the Women’s National Team for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games includes a six-month training camp, additional support stipends and incentives for medals that could result in each player receiving nearly $85,000 in cash over the Olympic training and performance period. The sum is in addition to a housing allowance, travel allowances, meal expenses, medical and disability insurance and the infrastructure that includes elite-level support staff to train and prepare the players.
The statement goes on to explain that the organization was “disappointed” in the player’s demands and will continue to keep dialogue open in hopes they’ll play in April. The players shot back at the release, with captain Meghan Duggan telling Bob McKenzie of TSN it was “incredibly dishonest and misleading”. As McKenzie notes, the two sides seem ready for a battle over their compensation leading up to next year’s Olympics.
- After the Pittsburgh Penguins added Zach Aston-Reese yesterday, the Philadelphia Flyers are hoping for some help from the college ranks of their own. Sam Carchidi of The Inquirer opines that the team may have interest in both Spencer Foo and Mike Vecchione of Union College. The team is familiar with the school from the years Shayne Gostisbehere spent there, including one season with Vecchione in 2013-14. The pair of undrafted forwards are among the highest scoring in the NCAA, with 59 and 62 points respectively. If the Flyers want to keep pace with what has been a busy Metropolitan Division—the Capitals also inked a couple of forwards earlier this month—they would do well with Vecchione. The 24-year old senior is considered by some even better than Aston-Reese, and ready to step into the NHL right away. Anyone will have to wait for Union’s season to be over though, as they’re still alive in the ECAC playoffs.
- Kevin Kurz of CSN reports that David Schlemko rejoined his teammates in practice today for the first time in nearly two weeks. The defenseman is getting close to a return, but Dylan DeMelo has used the opportunity to show that he’s ready for an NHL role. DeMelo tells Kurz that getting back into the lineup is “definitely a lot better playing than sitting out for seven weeks. I’m just happy to be back in the lineup and [helping] the team win.” DeMelo had surgery to repair a broken wrist in January and only returned to the lineup on March 5th.