2017–18 NHL season

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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
Playoffs
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 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.

League business[edit]

Expansion[edit]

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 plays in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference.[2][3]

Olympics abstention and ban[edit]

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, 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.[7] [5] Several players have vowed to participate anyway, most notably Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin. [8] The league had initially stated that minor league prospects would not be subject to the ban.[9] As the league had little legal room to enforce a ban itself without running afoul of the National Hockey League Players Association,[10] 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.[11]

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.[7] 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.[12][13]

Salary cap[edit]

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.[14][15]

Rule changes[edit]

The NHL Board of Governors passed some new rules that take effect this season, including:[16]

  • 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 requested by coaches whose team had allowed a goal wanting a review of 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 would only be moved back to the neutral zone just 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:[16]

  • 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[edit]

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) hold the regional television rights for the new Vegas Golden Knights expansion team.[17] TSN has re-gained regional English-language rights to the Montreal Canadiens, and extended its radio contract with co-owned CKGM.[18][19] Rogers Media has acquired the radio rights for the Vancouver Canucks for newly acquired 650 CISL.[20]

Centennial celebration[edit]

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.[21][22] 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.[23]

Preseason games in China[edit]

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.[24] These were the first NHL games ever played in China.[25]

Coaching changes[edit]

Coaching changes
Offseason
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.[26][27] On July 11, 2017, Tocchet was named as the new head coach of the Coyotes.[28] 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.[29] On June 15, Housley was named the Sabres' new head coach.[30] 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.[31] Ruff joined the New York Rangers as an assistant coach.[32] 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.[33]
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.[34] On June 12, Boughner was named the team's new head coach.[35] 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.[36][37] 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.[38]
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.[39] Desjardins will coach the Canadian Olympic team for this season.[40] 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.[41]
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.[42]

Arena changes[edit]

Regular season[edit]

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.[46]

International games[edit]

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.[47] This is the first NHL game(s) to be held outside North America since the 2011 NHL Premiere contest.

Outdoor games[edit]

All–Star Game[edit]

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.[52]

Standings[edit]

Top 3 (Metropolitan Division)
Pos Team GP W L OTL ROW GF GA GD Pts
1 New Jersey Devils 8 6 2 0 5 31 24 +7 12
2 Pittsburgh Penguins 9 5 3 1 5 30 39 −9 11
3 Philadelphia Flyers 8 5 3 0 5 28 18 +10 10
Top 3 (Atlantic Division)
Pos Team GP W L OTL ROW GF GA GD Pts
1 Tampa Bay Lightning 9 7 1 1 7 36 24 +12 15
2 Toronto Maple Leafs 8 6 2 0 6 37 28 +9 12
3 Ottawa Senators 8 4 1 3 3 30 21 +9 11
Eastern Conference Wild Card
Pos Div Team GP W L OTL ROW GF GA GD Pts
1 ME Columbus Blue Jackets 8 5 3 0 5 25 21 +4 10
2 AT Detroit Red Wings 8 4 3 1 3 26 25 +1 9
3 ME New York Islanders 8 4 3 1 3 24 24 0 9
4 ME Washington Capitals 9 4 4 1 3 28 31 −3 9
5 ME Carolina Hurricanes 6 3 2 1 2 17 16 +1 7
6 AT Boston Bruins 7 3 3 1 3 24 26 −2 7
7 AT Florida Panthers 7 3 4 0 3 24 25 −1 6
8 ME New York Rangers 9 2 5 2 2 24 32 −8 6
9 AT Buffalo Sabres 9 2 5 2 2 25 36 −11 6
10 AT Montreal Canadiens 8 1 6 1 0 13 33 −20 3
Updated to game(s) played on October 21, 2017. Source: National Hockey League


Top 3 (Central Division)
Pos Team GP W L OTL ROW GF GA GD Pts
1 St. Louis Blues 9 6 2 1 5 29 24 +5 13
2 Chicago Blackhawks 9 5 2 2 5 32 22 +10 12
3 Dallas Stars 8 5 3 0 5 23 21 +2 10
Top 3 (Pacific Division)
Pos Team GP W L OTL ROW GF GA GD Pts
1 Los Angeles Kings 7 6 0 1 6 27 14 +13 13
2 Vegas Golden Knights 7 6 1 0 6 23 17 +6 12
3 Calgary Flames 8 4 4 0 4 20 23 −3 8
Western Conference Wild Card
Pos Div Team GP W L OTL ROW GF GA GD Pts
1 CE Nashville Predators 8 4 3 1 4 21 21 0 9
2 CE Winnipeg Jets 7 4 3 0 4 22 26 −4 8
3 CE Colorado Avalanche 8 4 4 0 4 23 21 +2 8
4 PA Anaheim Ducks 7 3 3 1 3 18 19 −1 7
5 PA Vancouver Canucks 7 3 3 1 3 19 22 −3 7
6 CE Minnesota Wild 6 2 2 2 2 22 22 0 6
7 PA San Jose Sharks 7 3 4 0 3 19 21 −2 6
8 PA Edmonton Oilers 7 2 5 0 2 14 22 −8 4
9 PA Arizona Coyotes 8 0 7 1 0 18 34 −16 1
Updated to game(s) played on October 21, 2017. Source: National Hockey League

Statistics[edit]

Scoring leaders[edit]

The following players led the league in regular season points at the conclusion of games played on October 21, 2017.[53]

Player Team GP G A Pts +/– PIM
Stamkos, StevenSteven Stamkos Tampa Bay Lightning 9 3 15 18 +6 2
Kucherov, NikitaNikita Kucherov Tampa Bay Lightning 9 10 6 16 +5 14
Schwartz, JadenJaden Schwartz St. Louis Blues 9 6 7 13 +8 4
Matthews, AustonAuston Matthews Toronto Maple Leafs 8 7 5 12 +10 0
Backstrom, NicklasNicklas Backstrom Washington Capitals 9 3 9 12 +1 4
Kuznetsov, EvgenyEvgeny Kuznetsov Washington Capitals 9 0 12 12 –3 4
Ovechkin, AlexanderAlexander Ovechkin Washington Capitals 9 10 1 11 –2 2
Kopitar, AnzeAnze Kopitar Los Angeles Kings 7 6 5 11 +11 0
Marchand, BradBrad Marchand Boston Bruins 7 6 5 11 +3 2
Forsberg, FilipFilip Forsberg Nashville Predators 8 6 5 11 +2 2

Leading goaltenders[edit]

The following goaltenders led the league in regular season goals against average at the conclusion of games played on October 21, 2017, while playing at least 240 minutes.[54]

Player Team GP TOI W L OTL GA SO SV% GAA
Crawford, CoreyCorey Crawford Chicago Blackhawks 7 419:30 5 2 0 13 0 .945 1.86
Quick, JonathanJonathan Quick Los Angeles Kings 6 360:58 5 0 1 12 1 .938 1.99
Rinne, PekkaPekka Rinne Nashville Predators 6 358:09 4 1 1 12 1 .932 2.01
Bishop, BenBen Bishop Dallas Stars 7 401:45 5 1 0 14 0 .928 2.09
Bobrovsky, SergeiSergei Bobrovsky Columbus Blue Jackets 6 360:58 4 2 0 13 1 .927 2.16
Varlamov, SemyonSemyon Varlamov Colorado Avalanche 5 298:49 3 2 0 11 1 .931 2.21
Holtby, BradenBraden Holtby Washington Capitals 6 362:35 4 2 0 14 0 .928 2.32
Hellebuyck, ConnorConnor Hellebuyck Winnipeg Jets 5 258:54 4 0 0 10 0 .927 2.32
Vasilevskiy, AndreiAndrei Vasilevskiy Tampa Bay Lightning 8 479:53 7 1 0 19 1 .933 2.38
Fleury, Marc-AndreMarc-Andre Fleury Vegas Golden Knights 4 241:53 3 1 0 10 0 .925 2.48
Anderson, CraigCraig Anderson Ottawa Senators 7 434:38 3 1 3 18 1 .915 2.48

Milestones[edit]

First games[edit]

The following is a list of notable players who played their first NHL game during the 2017–18 season, listed with their first team.

Player Team Notability
Nico Hischier[55] New Jersey Devils First overall pick in the 2017 Draft

Major milestones reached[edit]

  • On October 4, 2017, Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds scored his 400th point.[56]
  • On October 4, 2017, San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns scored his 500th point.[57]
  • On October 5, 2017, Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp scored his 600th point.[58]
  • On October 7, 2017, Anaheim Ducks forward Antoine Vermette scored his 500th point.[59]
  • On October 15, 2017, New York Islanders forward Andrew Ladd scored his 500th point.[60]
  • On October 17, 2017, Vancouver Canucks forward Thomas Vanek scored his 700th point.[61]
  • On October 18, 2017, Toronto Maple Leafs forward Patrick Marleau played his 1,500th NHL game, becoming the 18th player to do so.[62]
  • On October 19, 2017, St. Louis Blues forward Paul Stastny scored his 600th point.[63]
  • On October 20, 2017, Winnipeg Jets forward Blake Wheeler scored his 200th goal.[64]
  • On October 20, 2017, Winnipeg Jets head coach Paul Maurice won his 600th game, becoming the 17th coach to reach the mark.[64]
  • On October 21, 2017, Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos scored his 600th point.[65]

Uniforms[edit]

  • Adidas is the official uniform and apparel provider of the NHL beginning with the 2017–18 season.[66] As part of the transition from Reebok to Adidas, no third jerseys will be worn this season.[67] New or updated uniforms for all teams were unveiled on June 20, 2017.[68]
  • The Ottawa Senators are wearing stickers on their helmets honouring former general manager Bryan Murray, who died in August 2017.[69]
  • 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.[70]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ Coppinger, Mike. "Las Vegas NHL expansion team will be named the 'Golden Knights'". USA Today. Retrieved November 23, 2016. 
  3. ^ Gretz, Adam (November 22, 2016). "Say hello to the Vegas Golden Knights". NBC Sports. Retrieved November 23, 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 April 3, 2017. 
  5. ^ a b "Iced out: The lowdown on NHL's Olympic boycott". ESPN.com. Retrieved August 9, 2017. 
  6. ^ https://www.nhl.com/news/nhl-bye-weeks-for-2017-18-season/c-290159620
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  13. ^ Friedman, Elliotte (October 18, 2017). "31 Thoughts: Tensions running high for slow starters". Sportsnet.ca. Retrieved October 18, 2017. 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. 
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  58. ^ Hedger, Brian (October 6, 2017). "Saad scores three of 10 goals for Blackhawks against Penguins". NHL.com. Chicago: NHL Enterprises, L.P. Retrieved October 10, 2017. 
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  61. ^ Stevenson, Chris (October 17, 2017). "Nilsson, Canucks shut out Senators". NHL.com. Chicago: NHL Enterprises, L.P. Retrieved October 18, 2017. 
  62. ^ Cicerella, Kyle (October 18, 2017). "Leafs forward Patrick Marleau plays in his 1,500th career NHL game". National Post. Retrieved October 19, 2017. 
  63. ^ Groke, Nick (October 20, 2017). "Paul Stastny reaches 600 vs. his former team as Avalanche struggle to find footing in loss to Blues". The Denver Post. Retrieved October 22, 2017. 
  64. ^ a b Owen, Judy (October 20, 2017). "Blake Wheeler’s 200th NHL goal lifts Jets over Minnesota Wild". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved October 22, 2017. 
  65. ^ "Stamkos, Kucherov powering Lightning's fast start". NHL.com. October 21, 2017. Retrieved October 22, 2017. 
  66. ^ Rosen, Dan (September 16, 2015). "Adidas to become official NHL outfitter in 2017-18". NHL.com. Retrieved May 9, 2017. 
  67. ^ Clinton, Jared (January 9, 2017). "News Report: No Alternative Jerseys next Season as Adidas takes over NHL Uniforms". TheHockeyNews.com. TVA Group. Retrieved June 14, 2017. 
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  69. ^ Garrioch, Bruce (October 3, 2017). "Ottawa Senators unveil helmet sticker to honour Bryan Murray". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved October 6, 2017. 
  70. ^ Creamer, Chris (January 2, 2017). "Pics: Centennial Patches Added to All NHL Teams". SportsnetLogos.net. Wordpress. Retrieved June 14, 2017. 

External links[edit]