E.J. Johnston - founder of the new three-on-three hockey league, 3ICE - said last year that the players and coaches who participate will be familiar faces, and he has yet to disappoint.
Grant Fuhr, Bryan Trottier, Guy Carbonneau, Larry Murphy, Angela Ruggiero, John LeClair, Joe Mullen, and Ed Johnston round out the group of coaches for the league's eight teams. In total, they've combined for 23 Stanley Cup victories and six of the eight have made their way into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
The three-on-three league is set to debut in June 2021 and travel across North America where teams will play in bracket-style tournaments in different cities every weekend.
"We’re anticipating that we’re going to be able to have a lot of exciting hockey," league commissioner Craig Patrick said, according to USA Today's Chris Bumbaca. "Even more than the NHL’s overtime format, because we’re going to go for a lot of speed and skill throughout and we’re going to look at different rules that enable that to happen more frequently in our game."
While the players remain unknown, Johnston believes he'll be able to attract a good group to join his league. He described the ideal 3ICE participants as "shorter, faster players, with elite hands and stick speed."
"These guys will have NHL pedigree. If the NHL was overtime all the time, they’d still be playing in the league," Johnston added. "The creativity is really what we’re looking for.”
Games will be aired on CBS Sports in the United States and TSN in Canada. They will consist of eight-minute halves and have a running clock. There will be no penalties in the league, only penalty shots.