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Brittany Bowe out after concussion

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Brittany Bowe, the reigning World Cup 1000m and 1500m speed skating champion, is missing this weekend’s World Cup qualifiers due to a concussion sustained in July.

Bowe, a U.S. Olympian in Sochi, collided with a teammate in training in July, as first reported by Dutch broadcaster NOS.

Bowe can still be placed on the U.S. team for the World Cup season despite missing this weekend’s races in Milwaukee.

A competition return date has not been set, but it’s unlikely she will race the first two World Cup stops in November. Bowe is expected to return when she’s 100 percent recovered.

Bowe was one of the U.S.’ top athletes across all winter sports last season, setting the 1000m world record and winning the world sprint championship in addition to her World Cup season titles.

Bowe also earned the most medals of any male or female skater at the world single distance championships — silver in the 500m and bronze in the 1000m and 1500m.

Four-time Olympic medalist Shani Davis and two-time Olympian Heather Bergsma headline the skaters competing at the World Cup qualifiers this weekend.

VIDEO: Shani Davis hopes he’s on track for 2018 Olympics

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.

“We are confident that they [potential replacement players] would choose not to play,” the U.S. players said in a statement.

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.

“We ask that they approve the original agreement that, the players believed, was acceptable to both parties after Monday’s meeting,” the players said in a statement. “Unless there is an agreement, the players remain resolved to bypass the defense of the world championship.”

Neither side has said when the next 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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MORE: NHL asked for decision on Olympics by end of April

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