With the 2016-2017 season in the books, attention now shifts to this year’s massively important off-season. It’s an off-season that should be very interesting when talking about the Washington Capitals. You don’t need us telling you why, it’s been said enough already.
Most off-seasons in the NHL start with the draft. That usually falls in late June, a couple of weeks after the Stanley Cup is awarded. After that, you have free agency that starts on July 1st every year. Old teammates sign elsewhere, new teammates come in, and trades can happen.
This season the player movement will start a little earlier. Thanks to the Vegas Golden Knights coming into the league and starting play in the 2017-18 season, there will be an expansion draft.
We have already discussed the rules here at Nova Caps, so no need to talk about that here. What we can fill you in on is the important dates when it comes to the expansion draft.
All 30 NHL teams have the right to protect a certain number of players that they do not wish to lose in the expansion draft. That list can include a couple of different combinations of positions. Again, we recommend you reading the expansion draft rules if you do not know them. The protected lists must be submitted by 5 p.m. ET June 17th.
The actual “Draft” will not be shown live. General Manager George McPhee and the Knights’ staff will make their selections on June 20th by 5 p.m. ET.
Where Can You Find The Results?
Other than here at Nova Caps (wink!) you can find the results of the draft on your televisions. The NHL will announce the selections during the 2017 NHL Awards show in Las Vegas on the 21st. We don’t know specifically when the announcements will be made in the show, but you can find out that day on the NBCSports Network or Sportsnet in Canada at 8 p.m. ET.
Are Those The Only Days To Watch For?
Well, no, no they aren’t. As said above you still have the actual NHL Draft to look forward to, as well as the start of free agency. While I’m not sure how much, if any news will come out during this period, Vegas will have a head start on the free agency market.
What this means is simple, NHL teams cannot talk to free agents until July 1st, Vegas will be able to talk to them a couple of days earlier.
It’s not clear as of right now how much of a head start they will have, but it is expected to be 72 hours. Knights GM McPhee, however, has asked for more time, possibly up to five days.
The roster shakeup starts early this year. For the Capitals, that might not be a bad thing.
By CJ Witt