USA Hockey and representatives of the women’s national team will meet Monday to discuss a wage dispute that could lead to players boycotting the upcoming world championships.
John Langel, a lawyer for the players, tells The Associated Press that they’ll meet with USA Hockey officials in Philadelphia two days before the scheduled start of training camp. Players announced Wednesday they’d boycott camp and the tournament unless significant progress is made in negotiations on what they hope is a four-year contract.
The International Ice Hockey Federation Women’s World Championship begins March 31 in Plymouth, Michigan. The U.S. is the defending champion and has won six of the past eight world championships.
USA Hockey and players traded barbs Friday over demands but agreed to meet to further discussions.
Players are seeking a deal that pays them outside the six-month Olympic period. USA Hockey has said it is not in the business of employing players but is still hoping the players picked for the world championships are on the ice when it begins.
Standout forward Hilary Knight, who is expected to attend the meeting after playing in the National Women’s Hockey League final Sunday, said Friday that it was her hope that USA Hockey would “reach out to our lawyers and present something that’s worth sitting down to the table for.”
After players called numbers released by USA Hockey “patently false,” fellow star Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson said, “I just think they need to come to the table and let’s talk about it.”
Players have said USA Hockey pays them nothing outside the Olympic period and $1,000 a month for the six months leading up to the Games.
Knight, Lamoureux-Davidson and twin sister Monique Lamoureux-Morando, captain Meghan Duggan, Kacey Bellamy and Kendal Coyne are scheduled to take part in the meeting on the players’ side. A USA Hockey spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for who will represent the organization at the meeting Monday.