Thursday evening, after four days of negotiations in Philadelphia between the U.S. women's national ice hockey team players and their sport's national governing body, USA Today confirmed that USA Hockey has reneged on earlier negotiated points and will search for replacement players—scabs—for the upcoming IIHF Women's World Championships.
USA Hockey told USA Today that "it will begin reaching out to alternate players to determine their availability." The organization is looking to pull players from the National Women's Hockey League, including the Minnesota Whitecaps, as well as college teams.
The national team forced USA Hockey to the bargaining table this week with its boycott of Women's Worlds after contract negotiations stalled between the parties sixteen months previous, with USWNT players citing poor wages and inequitable player treatment.
Not only did players note that their per diem amount, accommodations, and insurance reimbursements were inferior to those enjoyed by the men's team but the men's team also enjoyed $3.5 million dedicated to its development programs; $0 was dedicated to the women's.
USA Hockey already tried to ice a team of replacements when the women first boycotted, but players in the pipeline all the way down to the U-18 team held firm and refused.
Negotiations appeared to be proceeding well this week, but the cancellation of a friendly match against Finland and the reorganization of the team's training schedule seems to have been the impetus for USA Hockey's decision to scout once again for scabs.
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