Normally, July 1st is the first day of the new league calendar year and most of the offseason events have already occurred. However, with the delayed start to the season, most of the key summer dates haven’t occurred yet with one key exception. CapFriendly provided a detailed list (Twitter link) of the new key target dates for this month. Some deadlines were known while others were speculative up to this point.
Before jumping to the list, the one key event on the calendar that remained July 1st is the payment of signing bonuses. Anyone scheduled to receive a signing bonus on the 1st will still get one today. That means it’s a great day for players like Connor McDavid and Artemi Panarin who each received a $12MM signing bonus which represents the majority of their earnings for the 2021-22 calendar season which doesn’t even start for another four-plus weeks. As for the rest of the dates to watch for, they are as follows:
Deadline for teams to ask players to waive their no-move clauses for the purpose of the Seattle expansion draft.
Latest possible start date for the buyout period (this could be moved up if the Stanley Cup Final ends as the window begins 24 hours after the playoffs end).
Deadline for players to accept requests to waive their no-move clauses for the purpose of the Seattle expansion draft.
Deadline for players to be placed on waivers prior to the transaction freeze.
Transaction freeze comes into effect – no trade or waiver activity permitted. Players eligible for selection to Seattle also have a signing freeze.
Deadline for teams to submit their protection lists for the expansion draft.
NHL approval and distribution of protection lists to all teams.
Beginning of Seattle’s exclusive RFA/UFA negotiation period for all unprotected players.
End of expansion-related transaction freeze.
NHL Entry Draft (first round on the 23rd, remaining six rounds on the 24th)
Deadline for teams to submit qualifying offers to restricted free agents.
Expiration of contracts originally slated to end June 30th.
Buyout period ends.
RFA interview window opens for players that have received a qualifying offer.
Free agency begins.
Beginning of window for players to accept their qualifying offer.
While the beginning of the month won’t be the usual frenzy that we’re accustomed to, it won’t be long before activity starts to pick up across the league with a very busy stretch coming up in a couple of weeks.