NHL announces key dates for 2021-22 season
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL set in stone various key dates for the upcoming season. 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. Johnston includes the full list:

  • March 21: Trade deadline
  • May 2: First day of Stanley Cup Playoffs
  • June 30: Last possible day of Stanley Cup Playoffs
  • July 1: First buyout period opens
  • July 7-8: 2022 NHL Draft
  • July 12: First buyout period ends
  • July 13: Free agency opens

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 the 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: 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.

This article first appeared on Pro Hockey Rumors and was syndicated with permission.

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