There’s a women’s team for USA Hockey, and they’re refusing to play in the world championships this year. Now, USA Hockey’s looking for replacements.
Although hockey fans perhaps focus more on the men’s side of things, there is a rather growing interest in women’s hockey. In fact, the team fielded by USA Hockey in the women’s division has won six world titles, according to USA Today.
They will likely not win a seventh this year, because the national team will not participate, as noted in the above-linked article. Captain Meghan Duggan explained their reasons for doing so to NPR:
"“USA Hockey pays us, as the women’s players, only during a six-month period of time out of the four-year Olympic cycle. During that six months, USA Hockey pays the players $1,000 a month for a six-month period. The remaining three and a half years, USA Hockey pays the players virtually nothing.”"
Did you forget that the next iteration of the Winter Olympics are next year already? The women’s national team hasn’t. It seems prudent to comment on that. Ice skating may be the bigger draw, speaking in terms of the Olympics, but hockey’s probably a close second in the United States.
ESPN W reported Sunday that USA Hockey has stooped to asking former collegiate players to try and play for them. One, who goes unnamed in the article, says she “just [plays] in a beer league” and had been asked to come in this week Wednesday. Suffice it to say that that’s … not good. However, ESPN adds that USA Hockey’s got one last chance to pull the women’s national team back in the fold with a meeting today.
Considering that the men’s team will reportedly refuse to play in their world championships to support the women’s team, USA Hockey may be more likely to come to a deal. It’s sad, but probably true, even though the article notes that usually world championships don’t get attention because of the Stanley Cup. However, the point remains that the women’s team may have some more leverage if USA Hockey has to deal with bigger names on the men’s team refusing to play.
Keep an eye on this throughout the day.