Da Beauty League is back

Da beauties are back.

Da Beauty League — the State of Hockey’s whimsical answer to the NBA Summer League — returns Wednesday, July 11 for its third season.

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A bunch of local pros are set to suit up for the annual four-on-four summer league. The league typically rolls out the full roster on Twitter, while surprise additions, unexpected departures and the like aren’t uncommon. As their website notes: “We may have other surprises!”

Read on for everything you need to know about da beauties.

Da Beauty … what?

Da Beauty League, a four-on-four summer hockey league made up of pro and college hockey players, most of who are from, or have ties to, Minnesota.

And a beauty is what, exactly?

It’s a term of endearment in hockey circles. Ask your kids.

Who’s playing?

Pretty much everyone. This year’s group is split into six teams, divvied up by sponsor: BIC, TRIA Orthopaedic Center, Tradition Companies, RBC Royal Bank, Velocity Hockey Center and Walser Auto Group. This year’s captains are Brock Boeser of the Vancouver Canucks, Dustin Byfuglien of the Winnipeg Jets, Erik Haula of the Vegas Golden Knights, Jake Guentzel of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Anders Lee of the New York Islanders and Alex Goligoski of the Arizona Coyotes. A few other notables: Zach Parise, Alex Stalock and Jason Zucker of the Minnesota Wild, James van Riemsdyk of the Philadelphia Flyers, Casey Mittelstadt of the Buffalo Sabres, Ryan McDonagh of the Tampa Bay Lightning and a bunch of local college players.

Hang on, this kind of just sounds like a Gophers alumni league …

It’s not. Stalock went to Minnesota Duluth, van Riemsdyk is from Michigan, Parise and Boeser went to North Dakota, Zucker is a Denver guy, etc. Current St. Cloud State players Ryan, Nick and Jack Poehling are all suiting up, alongside Huskies teammates Robby Jackson and Jimmy Schuldt, as well as Minnesota Duluth star Riley Tufte. There will, however, be lots and lots of Gophers too.

Ok, ok … so why are they doing this?

For the John Scott Cup, a trophy named after the titular enforcer. As unlikely a hockey star as you’ll find, Scott was the MVP of the 2016 NHL All-Star Game after hockey fans voted him in via a write-in campaign. Also, a portion of the proceeds benefit the league’s charity partners: The Herb Brooks Foundation, Shine a Ligh7 Foundation and United Heroes League.

They’re not playing full games, are they?

No. Each game consists of two 23-minute halves of four-on-four hockey.

Where at?

All the league’s games are played at Braemar Arena in Edina, Minn., off Highway 169.

When?

Wednesdays in July and August. Each session includes three games beginning at 5:30 p.m. Check out the full schedule here.

Is it free?

It is not. Tickets to each three-game session are $10, while a $60 season pass will get you into all 10 sessions. Kids under 10 years old get in for free.

Can I watch the games on FOX Sports North, my favorite network?

You can’t, but you can stream them at DaBeautyLeague.com.