Bode Miller
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Bode Miller wants contract voided with eye on comeback

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Bode Miller is seeking to void a contract with his former ski sponsor restricting him from competing in the 2016-17 season, to potentially compete on different skis this season, according to court documents filed in California this week.

Court documents show a signed termination agreement dated May 2015 between Miller and Head USA, the company whose skis were formerly used by Miller, stating that Miller would not compete in World Cup or World Championships races until the 2017-18 season.

The complaint, filed Monday on behalf of the six-time Olympic medalist, states that Miller retired from ski racing after his last race at the February 2015 World Championships but has recently explored the possibility of coming out of retirement and competing this season. Miller crashed in his last competitive race, severing his right hamstring tendon.

After terminating his Head contract, Miller partnered with Bomber skis, though not originally to compete on them. Now, Miller wants the option to compete with Bomber.

“Since retiring from professional racing and no longer being as visible in the public eye, Bode’s ability to make money through endorsements has been greatly reduced,” the complaint read. “At the age of 39, Bode realized that his viability and marketability as a professional ski racer were rapidly dwindling, and that he needed to explore the possibility of coming out of retirement so that he could obtain quality endorsements to protect his family’s financial future. Bode discussed his financial concerns with [Bomber owner Robert] Siegel, and, in particular, the two discussed the possibility that Bode would return to racing in the 2016/2017 World Cup and World Championship season. … At age 39, it is likely Bode’s last real opportunity to competitively compete on the World Cup racing circuit and attract the lucrative endorsements needed to provide for his family.”

In recent months, Head has threatened legal action for breach of contract if Miller returned to ski racing this season using another company’s skis and has demanded that Miller announce by Monday that he will not compete in the 2016-17 season.

Although Miller is seeking to void his agreement with Head to potentially compete on Bomber skis, he has neither in widely reported comments stated that he retired nor that he definitively plans to race again.

In reported comments, Miller said in December 2015 there was “a good likelihood” he would race again but said earlier this month that he didn’t see “how it could possibly work.”

Miller is already the oldest U.S. Olympic Alpine skier in history. In 2018, he will be 40 years old, which is seven years older than the next-oldest U.S. Olympic Alpine skier in history.

The World Cup season begins Oct. 23 in Soelden, Austria.

VIDEO: Bode Miller’s crash in 2015 World Championships

USA Hockey to start reaching out to potential replacement players

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USA Hockey will begin reaching out to “alternate players” to determine their interest in playing for the U.S. at the women’s world championship next week amid a potential boycott by its national team.

The contact is taking place in the event a resolution cannot be reached between USA Hockey and the women’s national team in a wage dispute.

“It’s important for everyone to understand clearly that our objective is to have the players we named as the U.S. women’s national team be the ones that compete in the world championship,” said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey, in a statement. “Productive conversations have taken place this week and are ongoing in our collective efforts to reach a resolution.”

The alternate players are in the professional NWHL and college, according to USA Today, a report that USA Hockey would not confirm.

U.S. captain Meghan Duggan has said every player in the U.S. national team player pool, plus under-18 national team players, committed to not playing at worlds unless the wage dispute is resolved.

The world championship tournament starts March 31 in Plymouth, Mich.

As of Thursday evening, no resolution has come between USA Hockey and its women’s national team. They met formally on Monday for more than 10 hours, with both sides calling it productive.

Neither side has said when its next scheduled meeting will take place.

On Tuesday, USA Hockey said it postponed a pre-worlds camp that was to run through next Tuesday in Traverse City, Mich., and canceled a scheduled Friday exhibition against Finland.

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NHL asked for decision on Olympics by end of April

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International Ice Hockey Federation President Rene Fasel tells The Associated Press he needs to know by the end of April whether NHL players will be cleared to play in the South Korea Olympics next year.

NHL team owners have made it clear they don’t want to stop their season again for the Winter Games and put their stars at risk of injury. The reluctance has come up before and yet the NHL has participated in the Olympics since 1998. This time, however, there seems to be an impasse.

The head of the NHL Players Association, Donald Fehr, says the players want to participate and hopes the league will take advantage of the chance to market the game in Asia.

However, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly says without “material change to the current status quo, NHL players will not be participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics.”

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MORE: 2018 Olympic hockey groups set