The NHL has set in stone various key dates for the upcoming season, as several reporters including Chris Johnston of the Toronto Star tweeted the list nearly simultaneously. It includes this year’s trade deadline, which will be significantly pushed back because of the Olympic break in February. The deadline will be March 21 this season. Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff includes the full list:
- March 21: Trade deadline
- April 29: Last day of regular season
- May 2: First day of Stanley Cup Playoffs
- June 30: Last possible day of Stanley Cup Playoffs
- July 1: First buyout period opens
- July 2: Deadline for first club-elected salary arbitration notification
- July 7-8: 2022 NHL Draft
- July 11: Deadline for qualifying offers
- July 12: First buyout period ends; club’s ability to sign own pending UFA to eight-year contract expires
- July 13: Free agency opens
- July 17: Deadline for player-elected salary arbitration notification; commencement of second club-elected salary arbitration notification period
- July 18: Deadline for club-elected salary arbitration notification
- July 22: Qualifying offers expire
- July 27: First day of salary arbitration hearings
- August 11: Last day of salary arbitration hearings
As PuckPedia points out on Twitter, the deadline is 40 days from the end of the regular season, meaning that players acquired will carry 20% of their cap, a number slightly smaller than the normal 22%. While the result of that small change won’t be seen for several months, it could potentially allow playoff teams to load up even further at the deadline by accruing cap space throughout the first part of the year.
These dates confirm what was reported earlier this month, that the NHL Draft in Montreal will start on a Thursday in July, several weeks after it would take place in a normal year. Free agency is now nearly two weeks after its normal date, meaning the offseason will be condensed once again.
Seravalli also notes that though taxi squads are not in place right now, the league and NHLPA have discussed the potential of bringing them back should they be deemed necessary at some point during the season.