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Wage Deal Averts Threatened Boycott By U.S. Women's Hockey Team

U.S. women's national hockey team captain Meghan Duggan, seen playing in the 2014 Olympics, says her teammates have won a better pay deal, averting a boycott of the world championships. Mark Humphrey/AP hide caption

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Mark Humphrey/AP

U.S. women's national hockey team captain Meghan Duggan, seen playing in the 2014 Olympics, says her teammates have won a better pay deal, averting a boycott of the world championships.

Mark Humphrey/AP

USA Hockey says it has a pay deal with players on the women's team, averting a threatened boycott of the world championships, which start Friday near Detroit.

Before the agreement team captain Meghan Duggan told NPR's All Things Considered that she and her teammates were paid poorly:

"USA Hockey pays us, as the women's players, only during a six-month period of time out of the four-year Olympic cycle. During that six months, USA Hockey pays the players $1,000 a month for a six-month period. The remaining three and a half years, USA Hockey pays the players virtually nothing."

The players said Tuesday that they now have a four-year agreement that pays players outside the six months before the Olympics. Duggan said players "stood up for what we thought was right and USA Hockey's leadership listened," according to the Associated Press.

The women have been very successful despite the low pay, reports the Two-Way's Camila Domonoske:

"The existing U.S. national team is a dominant player in women's ice hockey — they've medaled in all five Olympic Games that featured women's hockey and won the world championships seven times since 2000. (Over the same time frame, the men won two Olympic and two World Championship silvers.) ...

"Approximately half of the national team players hold 'second or third jobs,' according to a press release from the lawyers representing the team.

"Players on the men's national team can also play on the NHL — where the minimum salary is more than half a million dollars. The NWHL, meanwhile, recently slashed its salaries, which were $10,000-$26,000 before the pay reduction.