“Today reflects everyone coming together and compromising in order to reach a resolution for the betterment of the sport,” USA Hockey president Jim Smith said in a joint statement. “We’ll now move forward together knowing we’ll look back on this day as one of the most positive in the history of USA Hockey.”
Both sides seemed pleased with the deal, which addresses many of the chief concerns that led the USWNT to declare a boycott of the 2017 IIHF World Championships. The agreement included increased financial compensation for the national team players; a four-year contract; improvements in travel accommodations, insurance, training stipends, and per diem stipends equal to that of the men; and a committee designated to work with USA Hockey to improve marketing, public relations, and promotion for growing the women’s and girls’ games.
Johnette Howard broke down the agreement in more detail in her article on espnW.
“Our sport is the big winner today,” said Team USA captain Meghan Duggan. “We stood up for what we thought was right, and USA Hockey’s leadership listened. In the end, both sides came together. I’m proud of my teammates and can’t thank everyone who supported us enough. It’s time now to turn the page. We can’t wait to play in the World Championship later this week in front of our fans as we try and defend our gold medal.”
“This is a victory for both the players, but also for USA Hockey,” Team USA forward Hilary Knight told ESPN Radio’s The Trifecta. “[N]ow the younger generations don’t have to go through any of that. They can just build upon our shoulders as we did, you know, from the shoulders before us, and that’s the most exciting thing.”
As they had at every stage along the way, the players took to Twitter after the deal was signed, thanking their supporters with a video and a message: “To Our Dearest Fans,
Together, WE dared to make history. And couldn’t have done it without you. See you at #2017WWC
Team USA is on their way to Plymouth, Michigan, and they are expected to play their first game against Canada on Friday, March 31.
— Hilary Knight (@Hilary_Knight) March 29, 2017