UPDATE: The U.S. Women’s National Hockey Team and USA Hockey Come to Agreement
March 29, 2017
UPDATE: The U.S. Women’s national hockey team and USA Hockey have come to an agreement late Tuesday evening. The landmark new contract ultimately averts the players’ boycott of the IIHF World Championships that begin Friday, March 31 st , and significantly address the ongoing protests about equal pay and the federations’ inequitable treatment of its girls’ and women’s programs.
“Today reflects everyone coming together and compromising in order to reach a resolution for the betterment of the sport,” USA Hockey president Jim Smith said in a joint statement released by the two sides. “We’ll now move forward together knowing we’ll look back on this day as one of the most positivein the history of USA Hockey.”
The women’s national team, with the help of players all across the country standing in solidarity, achieved many of the improvements they were seeking. The team’s annual compensation will greatly improve to roughly $70,000 per player.
Other areas of the new deal include:
USA Hockey will allocate $950,000 by the final year of the agreement to a compensation pool forthe players (Previously, USA Hockey paid each member of the women’s national team only $6,000 for the six-month training residency before each Olympic event. In between Olympic Games, the USOC provided training stipends ranging $750-$2,000 a month.)Moving forward, every national team player will get the maximum $2,000 monthly stipend, regardless of her experience level, with USA Hockey making up whatever monthly difference USOC doesn’t pay.
For the first time, USA Hockey will pay the women’s team performance bonuses ($20,000 for a gold medal, $15,000 for silver).
For the first time, the women’s team will receive the same level of travel arrangements and insurance coverage as the men’s team.
USA Hockey and the players will establish a committee to make recommendations on how the federation can improve its marketing, scheduling, public relations efforts and promotion of the women’s game.
USA Hockey will add a foundation position to improve fundraising and other efforts for its girls’ developmental teams, which currently receive nothing when compared to the boys’ program.
“Our sport is the big winner today,” U.S. women’s national team captain Meghan Duggan said in the statement. “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 whose 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.”