Tonight is the second game of the preseason, and already the NHL is dumping some trade deadline, draft, and free agency news on us…
Key dates from the NHL's 2021-22 calendar:
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: NHL draft
July 12: First buyout period ends
July 13: Free agency opens
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) September 27, 2021
Those are certainly some important dates to remember, and even with the Olympic break the NHL seems to be moving up their schedule a couple of weeks compared to last season.
The March 21st trade deadline comes just one week (three games) after the Leafs outdoor game in Hamilton against the Sabres, and mercifully falls in the middle of three days off for the Leafs meaning plenty of time to make trades without worrying about players not being available for their next game and we might not see players held out for precautionary reasons. I’m the Leafs front office appreciates this scheduling.
The Leafs play 20 games after the trade deadline this season, so renting a player doesn’t seem like the colossal waste of resources like it’s been the past two seasons. Still, it would be nice to see the Leafs keep the draft picks they have and attempt to make the most of other resources, hopefully also dodging the hated rental pickups.
The NHL draft being later, as well as free agency again is a result of the adjustment from the late finish of the 2021 season combined with the Olympic break. The result is probably another slightly shortened offseason, which sits well with any of us who have attempted to write about hockey in August.
I guess we’ll also have to book a random day off in July if we want to sit around watching James Duthie announce signings that were said to be completed the night before.
Anyways, plan your sick days accordingly.