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COMMENTARY: Hockey Canada got it right and the U.S. women want a piece of the action

Team USA goaltender Alex Rigsby celebrates with teammates Meghan Duggan (10) and Megan Bozek (9) after defeating Canada 3-1 at the women's world hockey championships Monday, March 28, 2016 in Kamloops, B.C.
Team USA goaltender Alex Rigsby celebrates with teammates Meghan Duggan (10) and Megan Bozek (9) after defeating Canada 3-1 at the women's world hockey championships Monday, March 28, 2016 in Kamloops, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

An ongoing wage dispute has prompted USA Hockey to postpone the start of their training camp for the upcoming women’s world championship.

The camp was originally scheduled to begin Wednesday in Traverse City, Mich., but there could still be a training camp in Plymouth, Minn., the site of this year’s tournament.

American players announced last week that they would boycott the worlds unless they made significant progress with USA Hockey in negotiations on a labour deal.

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Both sides held a meeting on Monday that stretched for more than 10 hours, but still no deal, although there is said to be some optimism around the negotiating table.

The players are currently paid $1,000 a month during the six-month Olympic period, but they get virtually nothing outside of the Olympics.

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So they’re seeking a deal that covers them during the remaining 3 1/2 years.

On the other side of the table, USA Hockey says it is not in the business of employing athletes.

But you don’t hear USA Hockey complaining when their women win gold, as they have in six of the past eight times at the worlds.

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Hockey Canada pays so-called development players $900 a month and the senior stars get $1,500 a month, even outside Olympic years.

Our women are also supported for nine months around the Olympics.

I’m sure there’s room for give and take… but I’m happy to see that Canada has set the bar high.