Although things may have seemed a little dicey at first, the IIHF World Championships will have the U.S. Women’s National Team as we know it.
The situation did not look good for the U.S. National Women’s Team playing in the IIHF World Championships. USA Hockey reportedly had started asking former female hockey players if they could play in a tournament that starts at the end of this week, and that the American men were making noises about supporting their counterparts by refusing to play in their world championships. However, the hopes for a seventh championship are indeed alive and well.
If you scroll down past the statements in USA Hockey’s announcement, you’ll see the following line:
"“The parties agreed to keep financial terms between them…”"
But does anything stay secret these days? Of course not. ESPN reports that there are now performance bonuses in the contract, and that the players will make something along the lines of $70,000 a year as a baseline. Meghan Duggan had been open about the fact that players made $1,000 a month during the Olympic period under the previous agreement.
So, now that the women are actually getting paid for the hard work they do year-round, we’re sure you want to know where to watch the IIHF World Championships. The women will start by playing against Team Canada this Friday. Yes, this was basically the absolute last minute that things could have been resolved. Before you ask, yes, Team Canada has a ton of victories in this tournament — 10 of them so far, to be exact. (Between them, Teams USA and Canada account for all 17 gold medals in the tournament.)
Fortunately, the first round, per the IIHF, means that Team USA will start with three matches, one against each of the other teams in its group. Team USA’s schedule has them playing Canada on March 31, Russia on April 1, and Finland on April 3. Group A automatically makes it to the playoff round, but those games aren’t set in stone just yet.
Although USA Hockey lists a start time of 7:30 p.m. ET on NHL Network, presumably the puck won’t drop for a few minutes after that at the very least. Sports events tend to do that sort of thing.