Women’s hockey is the winner of the outcome of the U.S. women’s national team taking a stand against their federation for equitable treatment, said U.S. captain Meghan Duggan.
“We stood up for what we thought was right and USA Hockey’s leadership listened. In the end, both sides came together. I am proud of my teammates and can’t thank everyone who supported us enough,” she said. “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.”
Earlier this month, the U.S. players said they would boycott the tournament taking place in Plymouth, Mich. March 31- April 7. They said a year long negotiation with USA Hockey wasn’t going anywhere and felt it was their only move to ensure they would receive equitable support in the areas of financial compensation, youth team development, equipment, travel expenses, hotel accommodations, meals, staffing, transportation, marketing and publicity.
Receiving overwhelming support from around the world on social media, including from professional player’s associations in the NWHL, NHL, NBA, MLBA and others, women’s hockey was in the spotlight. On Tuesday USA Hockey announced an agreement had been made that will result in groundbreaking support for the U.S. women’s national team program over the course of the next four years.
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“I’m glad we could come together and reach an arrangement that will have a positive and lasting impact,” said Hilary Knight, veteran forward of the U.S. women’s national team. “This is an inspirational time and we’re excited to get back on the ice and represent our country.”
The feeling was mutual for Jim Smith, president of USA Hockey.
“Today reflects everyone coming together and compromising in order to reach a resolution for the betterment of the sport. 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.”
While the parties agreed to keep financial terms between them, ESPN reported that they include the team’s annual compensation increasing to about $70,000 per player and bonuses could push players into the six-figure mark should they win the Olympics or world championships. Players were only receiving $6,000 ($1,000 per month) only in the six months during centralization right before the Olympics.
“The action taken today is an important statement of USA Hockey’s commitment and support of our women’s national team program and female hockey overall,” said Donna Guariglia, treasurer of USA Hockey and former chair of USA Hockey’s Girls’ and Women’s Section.
The agreement also includes the formation of a women’s high performance advisory group, similar to that Hockey Canada has with their national team. This is to advance girls and women’s hockey in all areas, including programming, marketing, promotion and fundraising. That is in addition to the focus on the grassroots hockey areas that volunteers of USA Hockey’s Girls’ and Women’s Section have been involved with for almost 30 years.
“We look forward to the future with great anticipation,” said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey. “This process has, in the end, made us better.”
The U.S. opens the tournament on Friday, March 31 against Canada at 7:30 p.m. (ET).Back to Top
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