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Leagues and Governing Bodies

New 3-on-3 hockey league aiming for Olympic involvement

A new 3-on-3 league, called 3ICE, “could be another step toward more hockey on a global scale” after it debuted earlier this month, according to Stephen Whyno of the AP. Int'l Ice Hockey Federation officials “lamented having only two medal events on sports’ biggest stage” with the men's and women's Olympic tournaments. The IIHF and IOC "have discussed adding to that." 3ICE is another experiment that “could make 3-on-3 part of hockey’s long-term future.” 3ICE Commissioner Craig Patrick said that he "sees room for 3-on-3 hockey to carve out room in a crowded entertainment landscape." After 3-on-3 basketball debuted as an Olympic event in Tokyo last year, new IIHF President Luc Tardif “has set the goal of doing the same for hockey.” It “may not happen as soon as 2026” in Milan and Cortina, a men’s tournament “that is again expected to feature NHL players after two Olympics without them.” Assuming the NHL “resumes regular Olympic participation,” a 3-on-3 tournament “could provide additional spots for players.” Whyno writes “3-on-3 could get more countries involved in hockey.” Tardif said that it is "easier for some national federations to put together rosters of 12 or 13 players than the full 22 or more necessary for traditional hockey” (AP, 6/29).

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