USA Hockey postpones pre-worlds training camp, cancels exhibition

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USA Hockey’s planned pre-women’s world championship training camp will not take place as wage-dispute negotiations with national-team players have not produced a resolution.

Both sides have said they are hopeful that the team will suit up for the world championship tournament that starts March 31.

The pre-worlds camp was scheduled for Wednesday through next Tuesday in Traverse City, Mich., ahead of the world championship tournament in Plymouth, Mich.

USA Hockey said it now anticipates staging a training camp in Plymouth, but dates have not been announced.

USA Hockey also canceled its pre-worlds exhibition game with Finland that was scheduled for this Friday.

National-team players said last week they planned to boycott the world championship unless significant progress was made toward a labor agreement.

USA Hockey officials and many of the players met for more than 10 hours in Philadelphia on Monday in what was deemed productive discussion by both sides.

USA Hockey and players released statements Monday night saying they hoped a deal would be reached in time for the world championship.

Players said they were hopeful to get an agreement in time to have a training camp and prepare to defend their world championship gold medal on home ice.

“We feel like we made progress today,” two-time Olympian Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson said Monday. “They were productive, and we are hopeful that we can come to a timely agreement that would get us to Plymouth in time to prepare as a team so that we could compete in worlds.”

Players are pushing to be paid outside the six-month Olympic period, saying USA Hockey pays them nothing for the other 3 ½ years.

USA Hockey said it is not in the business of employing athletes and put out a list of players’ financial demands that players referred to as “patently false.”

Despite trading barbs last week, the sides agreed to meet in downtown Philadelphia the morning after the National Women’s Hockey League final in Boston, which several players took part in. Their lengthy meeting didn’t produce an agreement, but at least the agreement that talks would continue.

“It’s better than walking out saying, ‘This isn’t going to happen,'” Lamoureux-Davidson said. “But we’re hopeful, so that’s a step in the right direction, for sure.”

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.