|2017-18 NHL season|
|League||National Hockey League|
|Duration||October 4, 2017 - June 2018|
|Number of games||82|
|Number of teams||31|
The 2017-18 NHL season is the 101st season of operation (100th season of play) of the National Hockey League. With the addition of a new expansion team, the Vegas Golden Knights, 31 teams compete in an 82-game regular season. The regular season began on October 4, 2017, and will end on April 7, 2018. The 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs will then begin a few days afterwards, with the Stanley Cup Finals held in early June.
On June 22, 2016, the NHL confirmed that it had granted an expansion franchise in the city of Las Vegas to an ownership group led by Bill Foley, whose identity was revealed as the Vegas Golden Knights on November 22. The team plays in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference.
On April 3, 2017, the NHL announced that, after five Olympic tournaments in which the NHL allowed its players to participate in the event, it would not do so for the men's hockey tournament at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Furthermore, the league did not include a break for the Olympics in its schedule, and scheduled its All-Star Game as usual for late-January shortly prior to the Olympics (historically, the All-Star Game was not played during Olympic years). Each team's mandatory bye week, stipulated in the league's CBA, was also scattered throughout the month of January.
The restriction will apply to any player under NHL contract, including those in its affiliated minor leagues, but not to players signed to one-way contracts directly with the teams in those minor leagues nor players signed to entry-level contracts who are playing junior ice hockey. Several players have vowed to participate anyway, most notably Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin.  The league had initially stated that minor league prospects would not be subject to the ban. As the league had little legal room to enforce a ban itself without running afoul of the National Hockey League Players Association, the league instead colluded with the International Ice Hockey Federation, who agreed to establish a blacklist forbidding the national teams from offering invitations to players under NHL contracts.
Players with Olympic aspirations who were free agents, especially those whose NHL prospects were marginal, were advised not to sign NHL contracts and, if they wished to play professionally, sign directly with minor league clubs to maintain Olympic eligibility. Former Buffalo Sabres captain Brian Gionta and former Olympian Jarome Iginla were among those who opted not to sign NHL contracts for the season prior to the Olympics.
The NHL Board of Governors passed some new rules that take effect this season, including:
The Board of Governors has also stated that existing rules be fully enforced in certain situations that had become "unofficially" ignored:
AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain (which, along with AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh, the regional broadcaster of the Pittsburgh Penguins, re-branded from Root Sports over the off-season) hold the regional television rights for the new Vegas Golden Knights expansion team.TSN has re-gained regional English-language rights to the Montreal Canadiens, and extended its radio contract with co-owned CKGM. Rogers Media has acquired the radio rights for the Vancouver Canucks for newly acquired 650 CISL.
The NHL's centennial commemorations continued into the 2017-18 season, as its 100th season of play. On March 17, 2017, the NHL announced that it would hold an outdoor game at TD Place Stadium between the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens on December 16, 2017, to formally mark the 100th anniversary of their first NHL game. The Toronto Maple Leafs will mark the centennial of the NHL's first game (which involved their predecessor, the Toronto Arenas) during their December 19, 2017, game against the Carolina Hurricanes.
On March 30, 2017, it was announced that the Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks would play two pre-season games in China on September 21 and 23. These were the first NHL games ever played in China.
|Team||2016-17 coach||2017-18 coach||Story / Accomplishments|
|Arizona Coyotes||Dave Tippett||Rick Tocchet||On June 22, 2017, through mutual agreement, Tippett left the head coach position of the Coyotes. He led the team to a 30-42-10 record during the 2016-17 season, and a 282-257-83 overall record in eight seasons with the team. On July 11, 2017, Tocchet was named as the new head coach of the Coyotes. He was the assistant coach for the Pittsburgh Penguins in the last three seasons.|
|Buffalo Sabres||Dan Bylsma||Phil Housley||On April 20, 2017, the Sabres fired Bylsma after his team finished eighth in the Atlantic Division and failed to contend for the playoffs for the second consecutive season. He led the team to a 33-37-12 record during the 2016-17 season and a 68-73-23 overall record in two full seasons. On June 15, Housley was named the Sabres' new head coach. He had spent the previous four seasons as assistant coach for the Nashville Predators and previously played for the Sabres from 1982 to 1990.|
|Dallas Stars||Lindy Ruff||Ken Hitchcock||On April 9, 2017, the Stars announced that Ruff's contract would not be renewed for the 2017-18 season. Ruff led the team to a 34-37-11 record during the 2016-17 season as the Stars missed the playoffs and a 165-122-41 record since taking over in 2013. Ruff joined the New York Rangers as an assistant coach. On April 13, Hitchcock, most recently with the St. Louis Blues, was named the new head coach. He previously coached the Stars from 1996 to 2002.|
|Florida Panthers||Gerard Gallant
|Bob Boughner||Gallant, who compiled a record of 11-10-1 for the first part of the season (and a 96-65-25 record over his full 2¼-season tenure with the team, the highest win percentage of any coach in Panthers history), was fired on November 10, 2016. Rowe, the team's general manager, stepped into the position and compiled a 24-26-10 record. Gallant joined the Vegas Golden Knights, while Rowe, despite losing both the head coach and general manager titles, will remain with the Panthers as an advisor. On June 12, Boughner was named the team's new head coach. He was the assistant coach of the San Jose Sharks before being hired by the Panthers.|
|Los Angeles Kings||Darryl Sutter||John Stevens||On April 10, 2017, the Kings fired Sutter after missing the playoffs for the second time in three years. He led the Kings to two Stanley Cup victories in 2012 and 2014. The Kings finished the season with a record of 39-35-8 and an overall record of 225-147-53 over six seasons with Sutter, which is the most wins for any coach in Kings' history. On April 23, Stevens was named the new head coach. He had been the Kings' assistant coach since 2010 and was also an interim coach for four games during the 2011-12 season.|
|Vancouver Canucks||Willie Desjardins||Travis Green||On April 10, 2017, the Canucks fired Desjardins after his team failed to contend for the playoffs for the second consecutive year. He led the team to a 30-43-9 record during the 2016-17 season and a 109-110-27 overall record in three full seasons. Desjardins will coach the Canadian Olympic team for this season. On April 26, Green was named the new head coach. Prior to his hiring, Green was the head coach for the Canucks' AHL affiliate Utica Comets, where he amassed a 155-110-39 record through four seasons.|
|Vegas Golden Knights||Expansion team||Gerard Gallant||On April 13, 2017, the Golden Knights hired Gerard Gallant as the team's first ever head coach.|
The regular season began on October 4, 2017, and will end on April 7, 2018. Each team will receive a five-day "bye week", and all of them will take place in mid-January.
Two regular season games between the Colorado Avalanche and the Ottawa Senators were scheduled at Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, Sweden for November 10 and 11, 2017, branded as the SAP NHL Global Series.
The 63rd National Hockey League All-Star Game will be held in Tampa, Florida at Amalie Arena, home of the Tampa Bay Lightning, on January 28, 2018. The format will not change and will follow the format used in two previous All-Star games.
|1||New Jersey Devils||20||12||5||3||10||67||63||+4||27|
|3||Columbus Blue Jackets||21||13||7||1||11||62||53||+9||27|
|1||Tampa Bay Lightning||20||15||3||2||14||80||52||+28||32|
|2||Toronto Maple Leafs||22||14||8||0||13||80||67||+13||28|
|3||Detroit Red Wings||21||10||8||3||8||63||58||+5||23|
|1||ME||New York Islanders||20||11||7||2||10||73||66||+7||24|
|5||ME||New York Rangers||21||10||9||2||10||66||67||-1||22|
|1||St. Louis Blues||22||16||5||1||14||78||58||+20||33|
|1||Los Angeles Kings||21||12||7||2||11||64||50||+14||26|
|2||Vegas Golden Knights||19||12||6||1||12||68||58||+10||25|
|5||PA||San Jose Sharks||19||10||8||1||9||47||44||+3||21|
The following players led the league in regular season points at the conclusion of games played on November 21, 2017.
|Stamkos, StevenSteven Stamkos||Tampa Bay Lightning||20||10||25||35||+12||8|
|Kucherov, NikitaNikita Kucherov||Tampa Bay Lightning||20||17||16||33||+11||16|
|Gaudreau, JohnnyJohnny Gaudreau||Calgary Flames||20||10||21||31||+5||4|
|Schwartz, JadenJaden Schwartz||St. Louis Blues||22||11||19||30||+19||6|
|Schenn, BraydenBrayden Schenn||St. Louis Blues||22||10||20||30||+19||20|
|Tarasenko, VladimirVladimir Tarasenko||St. Louis Blues||22||12||14||26||+18||9|
|McDavid, ConnorConnor McDavid||Edmonton Oilers||21||10||16||26||-1||8|
|Voracek, JakubJakub Voracek||Philadelphia Flyers||21||6||20||26||+6||20|
|Scheifele, MarkMark Scheifele||Winnipeg Jets||20||11||14||25||+8||2|
|Wheeler, BlakeBlake Wheeler||Winnipeg Jets||20||5||20||25||+5||16|
|Bobrovsky, SergeiSergei Bobrovsky||Columbus Blue Jackets||17||1037:58||12||4||1||35||2||.933||2.02|
|Jones, MartinMartin Jones||San Jose Sharks||14||796:57||8||5||1||28||1||.926||2.11|
|Crawford, CoreyCorey Crawford||Chicago Blackhawks||17||959:16||9||7||0||35||2||.933||2.19|
|Vasilevskiy, AndreiAndrei Vasilevskiy||Tampa Bay Lightning||17||1024:24||14||2||1||40||1||.928||2.34|
|Howard, JimmyJimmy Howard||Detroit Red Wings||16||924:18||8||5||2||36||0||.928||2.34|
|Hellebuyck, ConnorConnor Hellebuyck||Winnipeg Jets||16||905:15||11||2||2||37||0||.925||2.45|
|Darling, ScottScott Darling||Carolina Hurricanes||14||853:27||6||4||4||35||0||.909||2.46|
|Quick, JonathanJonathan Quick||Los Angeles Kings||17||972:52||9||7||1||40||2||.926||2.47|
|Rinne, PekkaPekka Rinne||Nashville Predators||16||965:55||11||3||2||40||1||.921||2.48|
|Dubnyk, DevanDevan Dubnyk||Minnesota Wild||16||932:10||8||6||2||40||3||.918||2.57|
The following is a list of notable players who played their first NHL game during the 2017-18 season, listed with their first team.
The following is a list of players of note who played their last NHL game in 2017-18, listed with their team:
|Mark Streit||Montreal Canadiens||1-time Stanley Cup Champion with the Pittsburgh Penguins, 1-time NHL All-Star.|
But the important thing here is the name, as well as the logo which works the letter "V" (for Vegas, obviously) into the knight's mask.
Watch for Team Canada to extend an invitation for Jarome Iginla at the Karjala Cup. (...) It will give us a first look at potential Canadian Olympians.