It’s time to officially turn the page to the offseason. Unlike the MLB, NBA or NFL, the NHL likes to stuff the majority of offseason activity in a short, two- to three-week window after the season ends.
Here are some key dates to watch this offseason. All times Central:
- Week of June 18: Sometime during this week the NHL will announce the official salary cap amount for the 2018-19 season.
- Wednesday, June 20 (noon): 2018-19 home openers released
- Wednesday, June 20 (7 p.m.): NHL awards show from Las Vegas
- Thursday, June 21 (4 p.m.): 2018-19 NHL regular-season schedules released
- Friday, June 22 (6 p.m.): First round of NHL draft from Dallas
- Saturday, June 23 (9 a.m.): Rounds 2-7 of NHL draft from Dallas
- Sunday, June 24 (11:01 p.m.): The unrestricted free agent “interview period” begins, where pending UFAs may speak to teams that do not hold their rights. However, they cannot sign a contract until July 1. Michal Rozsival is Chicago’s only UFA on its roster, while non-roster UFAs include Cody Franson, Jeff Glass, Viktor Svedberg, Jordin Tootoo and Lance Bouma.
- Monday, June 25 (4 p.m.): Qualifying offers to restricted free agents deadline. Teams must tender qualifying offers to their restricted free agents to retain their rights. Any potential RFAs that do not receive a offer become a UFA. Chicago has three RFAs in forwards Anthony Duclair and Tomas Jurco as well as defenseman Adam Clendening.
- Tuesday, June 26: The Hockey Hall of Fame’s Selection Committee will announce the class of 2018 inductees.
- Tuesday, June 26 (11:01 p.m.): RFA “interview” period begins, where qualified RFAs may discuss offer sheets with other teams. They cannot sign until July 1.
- Saturday, June 30 (4 p.m.): First buyout window closes
- Sunday, July 1 (11 a.m.): Free agency begins
- Tuesday, July 5 (4 p.m.): Arbitration deadline for players to notify the NHL.
- Friday, July 6 (4:01 p.m.): Second club window for arbitration
- Sunday, July 15 (4 p.m.): Qualifying offers expire
- Monday, July 16: The Blackhawks haven’t announced the schedule and rosters for its annual prospect camp, but it usually happens during the third week of July.
- Friday, July 27 to Sunday, July 29: The 11th annual Blackhawks Convention at Hilton Chicago.
- Wednesday, Aug. 15 (4 p.m.): College-drafted players who have left school must sign or they’ll become UFAs.