The NHL offseason is officially here, and with the addition of the Vegas Golden Knights as the league’s 31st team, it’s going to be an extremely busy summer.
In addition to all the usual summer events — the NHL Awards, the NHL Draft, the start of free agency -- we also have an Expansion Draft. And with that Expansion Draft, there are a ton of important milestones that we will hit over the next 10-14 days.
Here’s everything you need to know to navigate the NHL’s busy schedule over the next three weeks.
Full NHL offseason schedule
5 p.m. ET | Monday, June 12: Deadline for teams to request that a player waive his no movement clause for the purposes of being exposed in the Expansion Draft.
Players with NMC’s are not eligible to be exposed in the expansion draft, and teams must use a protection spot on those players. The only exception is if the player is willing to waive that clause.
It’s not expected that the Flyers will ask any of their players to waive their NMC. Claude Giroux, Valtteri Filppula and Wayne Simmonds meet the criteria.
Thursday, June 15: The first summer buyout period begins.
Teams can now buy out players for the first time this offseason. We’re not expecting the Flyers to utilize the option this summer since they are not really hurting for salary cap space, but you never know what Ron Hextall might have up his sleeve.
11:59 am ET | Thursday, June 15: Deadline for teams to request that a player waive his no movement clause for purposes of being bought out.
Monday is the deadline for teams to ask players to waive NMCs for exposure in the Expansion Draft. Thursday is the deadline for teams to ask players to waive NMCs so they can be bought out, in conjunction with the first buyout period opening.
12 p.m. ET | Friday, June 16: Deadline to place a player on waivers before the Expansion Draft roster freeze.
Self-explanatory, right? Teams must make these decisions before noon on Friday.
5 p.m. ET | Friday, June 16: Deadline for a player to waive his no movement clause for the purposes of being exposed in the Expansion Draft.
Teams must ask players to waive their NMCs by Monday, and the player has the rest of the week to decide whether or not they will agree to it.
3 p.m. ET | Saturday, June 17: Expansion Draft trade, waiver and signing freeze begins for all teams besides the Vegas Golden Knights.
All 30 existing rosters will freeze beginning at this time. With the exception of the 31st team, the Golden Knights, teams will not be allowed to make trades, place players on waivers, or sign players to contracts during this period.
5 p.m. ET | Saturday, June 17: All teams simultaneously submit Expansion Draft protection lists to the NHL’s Central Registry.
The Central Registry will accept these at the same time so that there’s no funny business around leaks or anything. They will spend the night going through the lists and making sure all rules are followed by the 30 teams.
10 a.m. ET | Sunday, June 18: Protection lists are approved and distributed to teams and the NHL Players’ Association.
We’re expecting that the league will make the protection lists public at this time as well. That should be a fun Father’s Day morning.
10 a.m. ET | Sunday, June 18: Vegas’ exclusive window for free agent negotiation opens.
The Golden Knights will be allowed first crack at any pending unrestricted or restricted free agent, as long as that player is not protected in the Expansion Draft. The purpose behind this is to allow the Golden Knights to get a sense of whether or not they will be able to sign a free agent before going ahead and using a pick on them in the Expansion Draft.
10 a.m. ET | Wednesday, June 21: The Golden Knights submit their Expansion Draft selections to the league and NHLPA.
At the same time, Las Vegas must submit contracts for any free agent they’ve signed during their special signing window. Should they select an RFA, the team they are selecting him from will not be eligible for compensation as they normally would be.
8 p.m. ET | Wednesday, June 21: During NHL Awards show in Las Vegas, the league will announce the Golden Knights’ Expansion Draft selections.
The big moment. We’re unsure how this reveal will be done, but we know it will be during the annual league Awards show on NBCSN and Sportsnet.
8 a.m. ET | Thursday, June 22: The Expansion Draft roster freeze ends.
Will we see an early morning flood of trades? We’ll see.
7 p.m. ET | Friday, June 23: The 2017 NHL Draft begins in Chicago.
Round 1 will be held Friday evening, broadcast on NBCSN, CBC and Sportsnet. It will last about three hours.
10 a.m. ET | Saturday, June 24: Rounds 2-7 of the 2017 NHL Draft.
NHL Network and Sportsnet will carry Day 2 of the Draft from Chicago.
12 p.m. ET | Saturday, July 1: The NHL’s free agency period opens.
All 31 teams officially begin the new league year as free agency opens and the countdown to training camps begins.
NHL Expansion Draft Rules
Rules for team protection lists
- Teams can protection seven forwards, three defensemen and one goalie OR any nine players regardless of position.
- Players with no-movement clauses must be protected unless they agree to waive it.
- Any player with two or fewer years of NHL/AHL experience is exempt.
- All teams must expose at least one defenseman and two forwards who are both under contract in 2017-18 and played either 40+ NHL games in 2016-17 or 70+ games in the last two NHL season.
- All teams must exposes at least one goaltender who is under contract for 2017-18, or who is a restricted free agent this summer.
Rules for Golden Knights selections
- Las Vegas will take one player — no more, or no less — from each existing team.
- They must select at least 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goalies.
- 20 of the 30 players must be under contract in 2017-18.
- The cap hit of all players selected in the Expansion Draft must be somewhere between $43.8 million and $73 million.