High schoolers are among the potential replacements USA Hockey has reached out to as it tries to fill a roster for the IIHF Women’s World Championship, which regular players plan to boycott.
USA Hockey and its women’s players are embroiled in a contract dispute, the athletes demanding better pay, benefits and training conditions.
With puck set to drop for the IIHF Women’s World Championship on March 31, USA Hockey is scrambling to find players to defend the country’s title.
Natalie Snodgrass, a senior at Eastview High in Apple Valley, Minn., and Cayla Barnes from New Hampton School in New Hampshire both turned down offers to play in the tournament (via USA Today). Both players are on the U.S.’s under-18 team.
Today I will do what others won't so tomorrow I can do what others can’t. I said no to USAH & will not play in the 2017WC #BeBoldForChange— Natalie Snodgrass (@nataliesnod9) March 24, 2017
Today I will do what others won't so tomorrow I can do what others can’t. I said no to USAH & will not play in the 2017WC #BeBoldForChange— Cayla Barnes (@Cayla_barnes27) March 24, 2017
Based on comments from Meghan Duggan, captain of the U.S. women’s hockey team, any momentum from Monday’s negotiating session has been stymied.
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“They made a pretty disappointing offer Thursday that really didn’t reflect the progress of the negotiations that had been made Monday,” Duggan said of USA Hockey, per the Detroit News. “In addition, we got wind that they were attempting to secure an additional team to play in the world championships.”
USA Hockey has not commented on its search for replacement players.