The 5 p.m. ET Thursday deadline set by USA Hockey expired. The women’s national hockey team’s threatened boycott of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Championship didn’t.
Two-time Olympian Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson told USA TODAY Sports that none of the 23 players on the roster came off their vow to skip the world championship as they seek better wages and other support from USA Hockey. USA Hockey had established the deadline earlier Thursday ahead of the tournament, set to begin at month's end.
“I don’t think any of us even flinched,” Lamoureux-Davidson said. “We saw this as a formality.”
John Langel, the lawyer representing the players, told USA TODAY Sports that there has been no communication with USA Hockey since the players went public Wednesday morning with their intention to forgo the world championship if USA Hockey didn’t increase their compensation. The players currently receive $1,000 per month for the six months prior to the Winter Olympics.
“I thought they would have sat down and talked so we could make some meaningful progress,” Lamoureux-Davidson said. “They just put a press release out, set this deadline and now will go out and try to field a team."
Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey, told USA TODAY Sports on Wednesday that the U.S. will present a team for the world championship in Plymouth, Mich., although it’s not clear who will be on that squad.
Lamoureux-Davidson said that won’t be easy since the national team members have been in touch with their potential replacements.
“Yes, it’s an honor to wear the red, white and blue,” Lamoureux-Davidson said. “It’s a privilege. But under these circumstances we think these players have to think about the circumstances. The experience would be tarnished. That’s a lot to think about.
“We’ve communicated this to them and told them that we are very firm in our stance. We have the support of NCAA coaches and the NWHL (National Women's Hockey League). I think they are going to have a hard time finding players who want to represent the U.S.”