In a good news story after weeks of bad blood between the U.S. Women’s National Team and USA Hockey, a new four year agreement has been agreed upon by both parties, ensuring that the U.S. team will suit up for the Women’s World Championships, which begin in just three days time in Plymouth, Michigan.
This comes after the initial boycott by the women’s team, intense negotiation, threatened boycotts by the men’s team as well, and even pressure from multiple U.S. Senators on USA Hockey to strike a deal, rather than field a team of replacement players at the Worlds. The deal was noted to “result in groundbreaking support for the U.S. Women’s National Team program over the course of the next four years,” meaning there is no threat of the women’s team boycotting next year’s Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea either.
The onus is now on the women’s team to quickly begin training camp, in time for Friday’s tilt with Canada to open the tournament. However, based on their stellar play over the past few years (they have, after all, won the last three straight Worlds) it is almost guaranteed that they will face off with Canada in the finals, as they have done for every World Championship tournament since 1990. We are glad everything is resolved, and now the focus can remain on world-class championship hockey!
Photo Credit: 2016 Women’s World Championship – IIHF – HHOF – IOC