USA Hockey Finally Agreed To A Deal Officially Ending The Boycott From The U.S. Women's National Team
PuckDaddy- About 45 minutes after the statement, details of agreement between the players and USA Hockey came out. ESPN’s Johnette Howard of ESPN.com was the first to report on details which include:
• Compensation: Each National Team player will earn approximately $70,000 per year. Before the contract, they were earning about $6,000 from USA Hockey in the six months they were training for the Olympic games. They have the opportunity to advance that figure to upwards of six figures under the United State’s Olympic Committee’s (USOC) ‘Operation Gold’ program if they medal in events.
• Stipends: Each National Team player will receive $2,000 a month in a training stipend regardless of her experience level. The USOC pays between $750-$2,000 as a training stipend depending on the player’s experience level. USA Hockey will make up the difference between the amount USOC pays and the $2,000 guaranteed.
• Insurance: For the first time in the history of the program, the women’s team will receive the same insurance coverage as the men’s team.
• Travel/Meals: Also for the first time, the women’s team will have the same travel accommodations as the men, including business class airfare. Also, the per diem for non-travel days at events from $15-per-day to $50-per-day, which is the amount the men’s team receives.
• PR/Marketing: A committee will be established to ‘make recommendations on how the federation can improve its marketing, scheduling, public relations efforts and promotion of the women’s game.’
• Girls’ Program Development: The USA Hockey Foundation will add a position that will focus on improving ‘fundraising and other efforts for its girls’ developmental teams.’ The girls’ program currently receives next to nothing, but the boys’ developmental program has $3.5-million in funding. Much of this money comes from the NHL; however, the league doesn’t tell USA Hockey how or where to spend it.
• The agreement is in place for four years.
BREAKING: We have previously unreleased footage of the negotiations...
The Women's National Team deserves a hearty congratulations for shattering that glass ceiling like they took the express elevator at Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory. That's quite obviously the most praiseworthy aspect of this story, but I think we have to give USA Hockey their due as well.
After all, business is business, and who played their hand better than the organization that inevitably agreed to a costly proposal after having the entirety of their reputation dragged through the mud. Some may argue that this proves they lied in their initial rebuttal, but that's just an occupational hazard of haggling their way right back into accepting the original offer. Who cares that they engaged in every shady practice under the sun to avoid reimbursing a proud group of women at a reasonable rate? Isn't the fact that they did it (cough::to avoid international embarrassment and a full blown mutiny::cough) all that matters! They may have treated compensating their most successful team like I treat the booking of flights, but the fact that they waited until the last minute only to pay top dollar becomes unimportant upon arrival! USA Hockey did as good of a job recognizing their lack of leverage as I do recognizing my lack of sobriety, but they eventually came around and - as long as "public relations" is just some meaningless division that was solely created to get more women in the workplace - they are no worse for the wear!
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