National Women's Hockey League reportedly strikes deal to improve player salaries, benefits

Less than a month after more than 200 women's hockey players said they would not participate in any professional North American leagues in 2019 unless working conditions got better, the National Women's Hockey League has struck a deal with its players' association to increase salaries and benefits, according to the Associated Press.

The players' union did not disclose specific financial details of the agreement, per the AP, but the one-year deal -- which includes a renewal option for 2020 -- provides a "50-50 split of sponsor-related revenues." The union has also deemed the agreement a "breakthrough" because it ensures "substantial gains" for its players, meaning salaries that protesting standouts like USA gold medalist Hilary Knight said were "as low as $2,000 a season" have presumably been upped.

Player salaries within the NWHL ranged between $10,000 and $26,000 during the league's inaugural 2015 season, the AP noted, but were "cut in half a little over a month into their second season." Along with an improvement in that area, the reported deal between the NWHL and players' association increases allowances for travel and meal costs starting this October.

The news comes almost two months after the NHL announced it would increase its own financial contributions to the NWHL -- a decision that came after the Canadian Women's Hockey League ceased operations.

The Professional Women's Hockey Players Association, formed by the contingent of protesting women's hockey players, has yet to comment on the reported deal.

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