The IIHF Women’s World Championships taking place in just over two weeks will apparently be moving forward without the participation of one of the only two teams expected to compete for the gold medal.
After apparently a year of negotiations with USA Hockey, the Team USA women’s hockey team has opted to sit out the championships after discussions have stalled over the team receiving equal wages and support as the men’s hockey players.
This year’s roster for Team USA featured a whopping 6 current and former Eagles, so this news has a direct impact on the Heights.
While USA Hockey provides the men’s national team players with millions of dollars in support, including money, charter flights, and meal money — not to mention $3.5 million per year to support boys in their development program with no comparable program for girls — the women only receive a ridiculously low stipend of $6,000 every 4 years, despite achieving a higher level of success.
The misguided argument that the men are provided more resources because of lack of public support for the women’s game is wildly outdated. The USA/Canada gold medal game in the Sochi Olympics drew over 6 million viewers, the most of any hockey telecast to that point in the Olympics and more viewers than the Stanley Cup final. Even last year’s NCAA women’s hockey final between Boston College and Minnesota, which was tape-delayed, drew more viewers than and NCAA men’s hockey tournament game, including the championship.
The Team USA players sitting out the last World Championships before the Pyeongchang Olympics is big news for women’s hockey. Hopefully the situation is resolved well before the Olympics and the women who represent the United States get the support they deserve from their own sanctioning body.