Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

Mar. 29, 2017 — Winning, but leaving a legacy

The job action of the U.S. women’s ice hockey team is going to end this week with an agreement for better pay and for the U.S. team to hit the ice on Friday to open the 2017 IIHF World Championship.

According to some scant information (since neither side has been willing to disclose full financial details), the agreement will bolster the pay of the average U.S. player to upwards of $70,000 to $120,000 per year depending on whether the team wins an Olympics or IIHF World Championship.

That’s a lot better than the $1,000 per month pre-Olympic stipend, needless to say.

But what has also changed is that there is now equal insurance and equal travel allowances. No longer will the women have to fly coach and get less per-diem expense money than their male counterparts.

The biggest thing that came out of this agreement, however, could have effects 15, 30, and even 50 years onward. USA Hockey is now tasked with maintaining a women’s high performance advisory group to plan out a future for girls’ and women’s hockey in the United States.

With an advisory committee, there is an opportunity for some actual power and influence, in the form of strategic planning, fundraising, and perhaps post-collegiate infrastructure.

This tells me that there is going to be an eventual buy-in by USA Hockey for the National Women’s Hockey League, the troubled two-year-old league that had to slash pay in mid-season because of budgetary shortfalls.

Let’s see what happens after the dust settles on this wage kerfuffle. I think there will be some interesting opportunities for women ice hockey players coming soon.



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