2017-18 NHL Season
2017-18 NHL season
League National Hockey League
Sport Ice hockey
Duration October 4, 2017 - June 2018
Number of games 82
Number of teams 31
Regular Season
Stanley Cup
NHL seasons
2018-19 ->

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 will begin 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.

League business


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,[1] whose identity was revealed as the Vegas Golden Knights on November 22. The team will play in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference.[2][3]

Olympics abstention and ban

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).[4][5] Each team's mandatory bye week, stipulated in the league's CBA, was also scattered throughout the month of January.[6]

The restriction will apply to any player under NHL contract, including those in its affiliated minor leagues.[7][5] Several players have vowed to participate anyway, most notably Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin. [8] As the league had little legal room to enforce a ban itself without running afoul of the National Hockey League Players Association,[9] 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.[10]

Salary cap

On June 18, 2017, the National Hockey League Players' Association announced that the salary cap would be set at $75 million for the 2017-18 season.[11][12]

Rule changes

The NHL Board of Governors passed some new rules that take effect this season, including:[13]

  • coach's challenge of offside - the original rule was put in place after a series of highly blatant off-side calls had been missed. The rule soon became a huge time waster, often to review the exact millimeter that a skate and the puck pass the blue line. To reduce the number of coach's challenges, there is now a two-minute penalty for delay of game if the review does not result in an offside being overturned.
  • no timeouts after icing - as a team that causes an icing is not allowed to change the players on the ice, coaches took to calling their 30-second timeout to allow their players to rest, getting around the intent of the "no-changes" rule. This rule change eliminates that practice.
  • touching high-sticked puck by power play team - previously, if a team on the man advantage played a puck after it was high-sticked, no matter where on the ice this happened, the play was stopped and the faceoff come all the way back to their own zone. This has been adjusted slightly so that, if the infraction happens in the short handed team's zone, the faceoff will only be moved back to the neutral zone outside the short handed team's zone.

The Board of Governors has also stated that existing rules be fully enforced in certain situations that had become "unofficially" ignored:[13]

  • enforcement of slashing rules - not a rule change as such, referees are now expected to enforce the existing two-minute penalty for slashing when players chop at the wrists and hands of a puck carrier. This follows a series of injuries - including a partially chopped-off finger - for this common practice that was rarely being penalized.
  • faceoff infractions - not a rule change as such, referees are now expected to enforce the existing two-minute penalty for improper stance by a player taking a faceoff. This follows an extensive period where players have not been standing with their feet properly placed within the limits of the markings by the dot, with their bodies square to the end boards.

Media rights

This is the seventh season under the NHL's ten-year U.S. rights deal with NBC Sports, and the fourth season of its twelve-year Canadian rights deals with Sportsnet and TVA Sports.

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) will hold the regional television rights for the new Vegas Golden Knights expansion team.[14]TSN has re-gained regional English-language rights to the Montreal Canadiens, and extended its radio contract with co-owned CKGM.[15][16] Rogers Media has acquired the radio rights for the Vancouver Canucks for newly-acquired 650 CISL.[17]

Centennial celebration

The NHL's centennial commemorations will continue 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.[18][19] 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.[20]

Pre-season games in China

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.[21]

Coaching changes

Coaching changes
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.[22][23] On July 11, 2017, Tocchet was named as the new head coach of the Coyotes.[24] 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.[25] On June 15, Housley was named the Sabres' new head coach.[26] 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.[27] Ruff joined the New York Rangers as an assistant coach.[28] 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.[29]
Florida Panthers Gerard Gallant
Tom Rowe*
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.[30] On June 12, Boughner was named the team's new head coach.[31] 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.[32][33] 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.[34]
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.[35] Desjardins will coach the Canadian Olympic team for this season.[36] 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.[37]
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.[38]

Arena changes

Regular season

The regular season will begin on October 4, 2017, and end on April 7, 2018. Each team will receive a five-day "bye week", and all of them will take place in mid-January.[42]

International games

Two regular season games will be played in Stockholm, Sweden as part of the 2017 SAP NHL Global Series, the league announced on March 24, 2017. The games will be played between the Colorado Avalanche and the Ottawa Senators at the Ericsson Globe on November 10 and 11, 2017.[43] This is the first NHL game(s) to be held outside North America since the 2011 NHL Premiere contest.

Outdoor games

All-Star Game

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.[48]


  • Adidas will become the official uniform and apparel provider beginning with the 2017-18 season.[49] As part of the transition from Reebok to Adidas, no third jerseys will be worn this season.[50] The uniforms were unveiled on June 20, 2017.[51]
  • All jerseys will continue to have patches of the NHL's centennial emblem, located above or below the numbers on their right sleeves, for at least up to the playing of the NHL 100 Classic on December 16.[52]

See also


  1. ^ Rosen, Dan (June 22, 2016). "Las Vegas awarded NHL franchise". National Hockey League. Retrieved 2016. 
  2. ^ Coppinger, Mike. "Las Vegas NHL expansion team will be named the 'Golden Knights'". USA Today. Retrieved 2016. 
  3. ^ Gretz, Adam (November 22, 2016). "Say hello to the Vegas Golden Knights". NBC Sports. Retrieved 2016. 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. 
  4. ^ "NHL will not participate in 2018 Pyeongchang Olympic Games". Sportsnet.ca. Rogers Media. Retrieved 2017. 
  5. ^ a b "Iced out: The lowdown on NHL's Olympic boycott". ESPN.com. Retrieved . 
  6. ^ https://www.nhl.com/news/nhl-bye-weeks-for-2017-18-season/c-290159620
  7. ^ Wyshynski, Greg. "Confused outrage over NHL Olympics boycott". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved . 
  8. ^ "Ovechkin on Olympics: 'I don't care, I just go'". ESPN.com. Retrieved . 
  9. ^ Seravalli, Frank. "How the NHL can prevent players from going to Olympics". TSN.ca. Retrieved 2017. 
  10. ^ Whyno, Stephen (September 15, 2017). "Capitals' Ovechkin says Olympic decision out of his hands". Associated Press. Retrieved 2017. 
  11. ^ "NHL, NHLPA announce team payroll range for 2017-18". www.nhlpa.com. June 18, 2017. Retrieved 2017. 
  12. ^ Hine, Chris (June 18, 2017). "NHL salary cap to increase to $75 million". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2017. 
  13. ^ a b Boylen, Rory (2017-09-19). "NHL 2017-18 Season Primer: Rule changes, key dates and info to know". Sportsnet. Retrieved . 
  14. ^ "Golden Knights officially announce TV deal with ROOT SPORTS". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 2017. 
  15. ^ "TSN becomes official English-language regional broadcaster for Habs". TSN.ca. Bell Media. Retrieved 2017. 
  16. ^ "Canadiens English language regional telecasts moving to TSN". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 2017. 
  17. ^ "Sportsnet launching all-sports radio station in Vancouver". The Province. Postmedia. Retrieved 2017. 
  18. ^ a b "Senators to host Canadiens in outdoor NHL game Dec. 16 at TD Place". CBC News Ottawa. Retrieved 2017. 
  19. ^ a b "Senators Dec. 16 outdoor game against Canadiens caps off big anniversary year". Ottawa Citizen. Postmedia Network. Retrieved 2017. 
  20. ^ "Leafs to open 2017-18 season in Winnipeg". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2017. 
  21. ^ Dillman, Lisa (March 30, 2017). "Kings, Canucks will play preseason games in China". NHL.com. Retrieved 2017. 
  22. ^ "Coyotes, Tippett mutually part ways". TSN.ca. June 22, 2017. Retrieved 2017. 
  23. ^ "Coyotes and Tippett Part Ways". NHL.com. June 22, 2017. Retrieved 2017. 
  24. ^ Vest, Dave (July 11, 2017). "Tocchet Likes Fit with Coyotes". NHL.com. Retrieved 2017. 
  25. ^ "Tim Murray, Dan Bylsma fired by Sabres". NHL.com. NHL Enterprise, L.P. April 20, 2017. Retrieved 2017. 
  26. ^ "Phil Housley named head coach of Buffalo Sabres". NHL.com. June 15, 2017. Retrieved 2017. 
  27. ^ "Stars announce Lindy Ruff won't return as head coach". NHL.com. April 9, 2017. Retrieved 2017. 
  28. ^ "Rangers Name Lindy Ruff Assistant Coach". NHL.com. July 10, 2017. Retrieved 2017. 
  29. ^ "Dallas Stars name Ken Hitchcock as head coach". NHL.com. April 13, 2017. Retrieved 2017. 
  30. ^ "Dale Tallon Named Panthers General Manager". NHL.com. April 10, 2017. Retrieved 2017. 
  31. ^ "Florida Panthers Name Bob Boughner Head Coach". NHL.com. June 13, 2017. Retrieved 2017. 
  32. ^ "AEG Announces Front Office Changes for LA Kings". NHL.com. April 10, 2017. Retrieved 2017. 
  33. ^ "Kings fire Darryl Sutter". Sportsnet.ca. April 10, 2017. Retrieved 2017. 
  34. ^ "John Stevens is the New Head Coach of the LA Kings". NHL.com. NHL Enterprise, L.P. April 23, 2017. Retrieved 2017. 
  35. ^ "Canucks relieve Willie Desjardins of duties". NHL.com. April 10, 2017. Retrieved 2017. 
  36. ^ Harrison, Doug (July 25, 2017). "Willie Desjardins fronts Canadian Olympic hockey coaching staff". CBC Sports. Retrieved 2017. 
  37. ^ "Travis Green named Canucks head coach". NHL.com. April 26, 2017. Retrieved 2017. 
  38. ^ "Golden Knights Name Gerard Gallant Head Coach". NHL.com. April 13, 2017. Retrieved 2017. 
  39. ^ "Red Wings' new home: Little Caesars Arena". NHL.com. April 28, 2016. Retrieved 2017. 
  40. ^ Steinberg, Dan (August 9, 2017). "Verizon Center to become Capital One Arena, starting now". Washington Post. Retrieved 2017. 
  41. ^ "MTS Centre, Iceplex renamed following Bell takeover of MTS". CBC News. The Canadian Press. May 30, 2017. Retrieved 2017. 
  42. ^ "NHL schedule: Bye weeks for 2017-18 season". NHL. June 26, 2017. Retrieved 2017. 
  43. ^ "Senators, Avalanche to play two games in Sweden" (Press release). NHL. March 24, 2017. Retrieved 2017. 
  44. ^ "NHL Winter Classic to feature Rangers, Sabres at Citi Field". NHL.com. May 9, 2017. Retrieved 2017. 
  45. ^ Benjamin, Cody (May 12, 2017). "Sabres 'hosting' 2018 Winter Classic vs. Rangers reportedly saves MSG $40M". CBSSports.com. Retrieved 2017. 
  46. ^ Gulitti, Tom (May 29, 2017). "Maple Leafs, Capitals to play in Stadium Series at U.S. Naval Academy". NHL.com. Retrieved 2017. 
  47. ^ "Capitals expected to play in outdoor game at Naval Academy next season". Washington Post. Retrieved 2017. 
  48. ^ "2018 NHL All-Star Game to be played at Tampa Bay". NHL.com. May 30, 2017. Retrieved 2017. 
  49. ^ Rosen, Dan (September 16, 2015). "Adidas to become official NHL outfitter in 2017-18". NHL.com. Retrieved 2017. 
  50. ^ Clinton, Jared (January 9, 2017). "News Report: No Alternative Jerseys next Season as Adidas takes over NHL Uniforms". TheHockeyNews.com. TVA Group. Retrieved 2017. 
  51. ^ "NHL, adidas unveil uniforms". NHL.com. June 20, 2017. Retrieved 2017. 
  52. ^ Creamer, Chris (January 2, 2017). "Pics: Centennial Patches Added to All NHL Teams". SportsnetLogos.net. Wordpress. Retrieved 2017. 

External links

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