USA Hockey says it''ll talk to players'' lawyers about dispute

3/17/2017 3:42:25 PM

USA Hockey says it is contacting representatives of the women"s team that threatened to boycott the upcoming world championships over a wage dispute.

Executive director Dave Ogrean says the organization remains committed to having the players selected for the tournament play in it when it begins March 31 in Plymouth, Michigan. The United States is the defending champion and has won six of the past eight International Ice Hockey Federation Women"s World Championship gold medals.

Players announced Wednesday they wouldn"t play in the world championships unless significant progress was made toward a labor deal. As of 6 p.m. Friday, a half-hour after USA Hockey"s update, players lawyer John Langel said he had not yet been contacted.

Players let a Thursday deadline to commit to playing pass without changing their minds.

In an update posted to its website Friday afternoon, USA Hockey says players" demands would exceed $8 million total in an Olympic year and $5.7 million in a non-Olympic year, at a rate of $237,000 per player for winning gold at the Olympics and $149,00 per in non-Olympic years.

Standout forward Hilary Knight tweeted, ""Lol"" - meaning laughing out loud - in response to USA Hockey"s update. USA Hockey did not specify how much money was coming from the U.S. Olympic Committee.

In its update, the organization wrote: ""From the outset, USA Hockey has been clear it will not employ players; however, that does not mean USA Hockey is opposed to a yearly agreement which outlines allocation of direct athlete support and other training resources that USA Hockey is willing to provide to players.""