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Mike Richter joins U.S. women’s hockey team coaching staff

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Three-time U.S. Olympic goalie Mike Richter has joined the U.S. women’s hockey team coaching staff, 11 months before the PyeongChang Winter Games.

Richter, a Stanley Cup winner with the New York Rangers, will be the goaltending coach for the world championship next month in Plymouth, Mich.

Richter is the only U.S. goalie to play in three Olympics. He debuted at Calgary 1988, one year before his first NHL game, and returned for the first two Olympic tournaments with NHL participation in 1998 and 2002. Richter was the No. 1 U.S. goalie at all three of those tournaments, earning a silver medal in 2002.

The U.S. women’s head coach is Robb Stauber, a backup Los Angeles Kings goalie in the early 1990s.

Stauber took over head coaching duties from longtime NHL defenseman Ken Klee last fall. Klee guided the U.S. to the 2015 and 2016 World titles after replacing Sochi Olympic coach Katey Stone.

USA Hockey has been naming its women’s coaching staffs on a tournament-by-tournament basis since Sochi, so neither Stauber nor Richter is considered a definite for the PyeongChang Olympic staff.

The U.S. roster for worlds is expected to be named Tuesday.

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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.

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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