The traditional NHL calendar has been thrown off by the COVID-19 pandemic the past two years. On Monday the NHL and NHLPA signed off on transition rules for the ’21-22 season, which included the amended critical dates calendar.
The first key date is the trade deadline, which will occur at 3:00 PM on March 21. The regular season will end on April 29, with the playoffs beginning on May 2.
The NHL entry draft will take place July 7-8. NHL free agency will begin at noon on July 13.
Most contract deadlines, including end dates, buyouts and no-trade clauses, has been bumped back a few days. (Contracts ending June 30 will now end July 12, etc).
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman also reports that RFAs must sign by December 1 to be eligible to play this season and players on one-year contracts can be extended on Jan. 1.
One part of the transition rules remaining to be determined: Both NHL and NHLPA left room for the recreation of taxi squads, should they be deemed necessary at some point during the season. They aren’t in place now. Basis for forming taxi squads would be last year’s format.
By Jon Sorensen