The Stanley Cup has been awarded and the NHL offseason is officially in full swing. Feels like the season just started, doesn’t it?

This year, there will be a lot more moving parts thanks to the inclusion of the Vegas Golden Knights as the NHL’s 31st team. The expansion is the NHL’s first since 2000, and many are rusty on the procedures involving a new hockey team. We put up a bit of an explainer on the NHL expansion draft, but what about the other events preceding it and following it?

Glad you asked! Thanks to the team at CapFriendly, we have a schedule in this busy time. For your convenience, here’s every important date you need to know leading up to the expansion draft and free agency on July 1.

NHL dates of interest through July 1

Date (All 2017, EST) Deadline/Event
Date (All 2017, EST) Deadline/Event
June 12 Deadline for formal requests of players to waive NTCs or NMCs for the purpose of protection lists
June 15 Deadline for first club-elected salary arbitration
June 15 NHL first player buyout period opens
June 17, 5 p.m. Expansion draft protection list submission
June 18, 10 a.m. Expansion draft protection lists released to the public
June 18-21 Vegas can negotiate and sign UFAs and unprotected RFAs
June 21, 10 a.m. Vegas submits player selections
June 21 Vegas team released to the public during NHL Awards ceremony
June 23-24 NHL Entry Level Draft
June 25-30 UFAs may speak to other teams, but not sign new contracts until July 1
June 25, 5 p.m. Deadline for qualifying offers
June 26 RFAs may speak to other teams, but not sign new contracts or offer sheets until July 1
June 30, 5 p.m. First buyout period ends
June 30 Setting of upper and lower limits
July 1, 12 p.m. NHL Free Agency

The big ones here are the June 18 reveal of the expansion draft protection list and then the reveal of Vegas’ team on June 21. The Golden Knights will have a three-day window to sign unrestricted and restricted free agents between then, so that will be something to keep an eye on.

After the draft on June 23 and 24, the normal offseason pattern sets in with July 1 being the start of free agency. It’s a lot to take in, and things have already been set in motion. Reports out of Pittsburgh say Marc-Andre Fleury has waived his no-move clause and will be eligible for the expansion draft. The Senators have asked defenseman Dion Phaneuf to do the same, it seems.

So, don’t get caught unaware. Memorize this schedule for the next few weeks. Or, just check back when needed to see what the NHL has in store for us all.


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