After two long months of waiting for a champion to be crowned the 2017 NHL playoffs are finally over. While we’re still months away from games being played but the new season officially starts now. There will be regular events like the Draft and the awards but the expansion draft for the Las Vegas Golden Knights is a wild card for every team in the league.
It’s going to be a busy few weeks for hockey fans. Here are some key dates to keep in mind:
6/15: NHL first player buyout period opens.
6/18: Teams will release lists of players they intend to protect in the upcoming expansion draft. Teams must protect seven forwards, three defensemen, and one goaltender or eight skaters (F and D) and one goaltender.
6/20: All 31 teams new Adidas jerseys will be unveiled at an event in Las Vegas.
6/21: The NHL Awards will take place in Las Vegas. The results of the expansion draft will be revealed during the show.
6/23-24: The NHL Entry Draft takes place in Chicago. The Lightning has the 14th selection in the first round.
6/25: Deadline for qualifying offers 5 PM.
6/30: First buyout period ends 5 PM.
7/1: Free Agency Frenzy begins at noon.
One Tampa Bay Lightning specific calendar item is their annual Development Camp for prospects. No specific dates or rosters have been announced for that yet. In the past, it’s typically taken place in early July. The information will be up on LightningShout as soon as it is available.