There are some pretty big things that will be happening in the coming few weeks, and the landscape of your favorite team and the entire league itself is going to be shifted in that time. Here is a look at some of the important dates to watch when some of the biggest NHL offseason news could break.
- Trades Could Start – Generally speaking most offseasons the first time we start to hear about trades being finalized is the week of and at the NHL Entry Draft. This season though things are a bit different due to the impending expansion team the Vegas Golden Knights being added to the league. Due to this new team coming into the league there will be an expansion draft held on the 21st of June. This has caused a stir with many general managers around the league as they are all trying to find the best possible deal for their franchise. We should look to see trades starting to be announced as we near the June 21st expansion draft and continue through to draft day. Some of the players that have been rumored to possibly on the move this offseason are players such as the Colorado Avalanches Matt Duchene, and Gabrielle Landeskog, the Anaheim Ducks Sami Vatanen, or Elias Lindholm, The Minnesota Wilds Mathew Dumba, or Jonas Brodin, Tampa Bay Lightning‘s Jonathan Drouin, and finally The Edmonton Oilers Jordan Eberle as well as many other players.
- Teams Protection Lists Submission Date – All NHL Teams must submit their list of protected players to the league by June 17th and the deadline that day is 5:00 P.M. Eastern. There are two choices that teams can make as far as what number of players they protect at each position. To get a full explanation of the team protection options check out the site here! There are many teams who if they do not make a trade very soon stand to potentially lose a very solid player from their team due to the rules of expansion this year. Some of those teams could include the Minnesota Wild, The Anaheim Ducks and possibly the Carolina Hurricanes.
- Expansion Draft – The Golden Knights have to make their expansion draft selections on June 20th. The team selections will then be officially announced to the public on the following day June 21sth during the NHL Awards show in Las Vegas. Another interesting thing to keep in mind is that the Golden Knights also have a unique opportunity presented them in the form of a 72-hour window to sign pending free agents. They have that opportunity from June 18-21. Each team is only able to lose one player in total due to expansion. If a player is signed from a team that is a pending UFA then the Golden Knights have that player count as their selection from that team and cannot select an unprotected player from the same team that they signed the pending UFA from. George McPhee is looking to make some deals to help set the new franchise up in the right way. This is a unique opportunity to really make some moves and to get creative and really set this franchise up for the next few seasons to build up and become a really good team sooner than later. Let’s hope that McPhee is able to make some exciting things happen.
- 2017 NHL Entry Draft – The NHL Entry Draft is going to take place on June 23-24th. There have been many rumblings that not only the 3rd overall pick could be in play but potentially the number 1 overall pick as well. The last time we saw a top 10 overall pick traded was back when the Vancouver Canucks traded Corey Schneider to the Devils and then Used the pick to select Bo Horvath. The Golden Knights will have the 6th overall selection in the draft unless they make a trade before that time.
- Free Agent Signing Starts – The Free Agent Frenzy as it is commonly referred to among the hockey faithful starts on July 1st. There is a host of bigger name UFA’s set to test the market this season. Some of those players includeAlaxander Radulov, T.J. Oshie, Kevin Shattenkirk, Brendan Smith and Karl Alzner.
This offseason summer action is just about to get started, so buckle up and let’s have a good time as we see all the news start to pile in in the coming weeks. What would you like to see your favorite teams do this offseason? Let us know in the comments and we can see who predicts what happens for their team correctly in a few weeks time.