Meryl Davis, Charlie White
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Meryl Davis, Charlie White out for entire 2016-17 season

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NEW YORK — Olympic ice dance champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White will not compete this season, but Davis said they need to decide “very soon” if they are coming back at all.

Davis and White have not competed since becoming the first U.S. Olympic ice dance champions in Sochi but also have not retired.

“It’s too late this season to come back,” Davis said at the Women’s Sports Foundation Gala on Wall Street on Wednesday night. “We would probably want to return for the [fall] Grand Prix season next year, if we decided to.”

If anybody can afford to leave a 2018 Olympic run that late, it may be Davis and White. They have skated together since 1997 and continue to “work together almost every day still,” performing in ice shows and traveling, Davis said.

This week, Davis returned from a trip to Greece to her native Michigan for one day and saw White at a rink before flying to New York. They have shows booked throughout the winter in North America, Europe and Japan.

“To be quite honest, we don’t really talk about it very often,” Davis said of a competitive comeback. “We are sort of just going with the flow.”

White said in April that he and Davis would want to decide at some point during the 2016-17 season if they want to make a run for the 2018 Olympics.

“So that we can be basically competitively ready, even if it’s halfway through the season or towards the end of the season,” White said then. “Whether we get to any competitions [in 2016-17] doesn’t, I think, make as big of a difference. As long as we could have been competing. I would say that would probably make the most sense.”

If Davis and White return, they will go up against an ice dance field that includes France’s Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron, the two-time reigning world champions, and longtime Canadian rivals and training partners Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, who are back this season after two seasons off.

Plus, U.S. Olympic teammates Maia and Alex Shibutani and Madison Chock and Evan Bates took silver and bronze at last season’s world championships.

“Whether we come back or not, it’s unrelated to what is definitely a very strong dance field,” White said in April. “Whether it’s strong or weak, having accomplished what we’ve accomplished and our relationship with the sport, it’s about whether we feel fulfilled with what we’ve accomplished. We’re still figuring that out.”

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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