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
Draft
Top draft pick Nico Hischier
Picked by New Jersey Devils
Regular season
Presidents' Trophy Nashville Predators
Top scorer Connor McDavid (Oilers)
Playoffs
Stanley Cup
NHL seasons

The 2017–18 NHL season was 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 competed in a 82-game regular season. The regular season began on October 4, 2017, and ended on April 8, 2018. The 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs began on April 11, 2018 with the Stanley Cup Finals held in early June.

League business[]

Expansion[]

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[]

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; Iginla, because of a lingering injury, would not go to the Olympics.[12][13]

Salary cap[]

On June 18, 2017, the National Hockey League Players' Association announced that the salary cap would be set at $75 million per team for the 2017–18 season.[14][15]

Rule changes[]

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

The Board of Governors has also stated that existing rules be fully enforced in certain situations that had become "unofficially" ignored:[16]

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. The CBC's rights to air Hockey Night in Canada, which was due to expire after this season, was renewed through the end of the current Rogers deal.[17][18]

Since CBC and NBC also hold the rights to air the Olympics in their respective countries, Rogers has not scheduled any HNIC games on CBC during those Saturdays nights, and will instead only air those NHL games on either City or the Sportsnet networks.[19][20] NBC originally decided not to air any NHL games at all during the Olympics, but later reversed course and will air the NHL Game of the Week on those Sunday afternoons.[21]

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) are the inaugural regional television rightsholders for the Vegas Golden Knights.[22] TSN has re-gained regional English-language rights to the Montreal Canadiens, and extended its radio contract with co-owned CKGM.[23][24] Rogers Media has acquired the radio rights for the Vancouver Canucks for newly acquired 650 CISL.[25]

Centennial celebration[]

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.[26][27]

The Toronto Maple Leafs marked the centennial of the NHL's first game (which involved their predecessor, the Toronto Arenas) with a "Next Century Game" on December 19, 2017 against the Carolina Hurricanes; the team wore special Toronto Arenas jerseys, and season ticket holders were encouraged to donate their tickets to the MLSE Foundation to allow students to attend the game.[28][29] Mayor of Toronto John Tory also declared December 19 "Toronto Maple Leafs Day".[30]

Preseason 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.[31] These were the first NHL games ever played in China.[32]

Coaching changes[]

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.[33][34] On July 11, 2017, Tocchet was named as the new head coach of the Coyotes.[35] 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.[36] On June 15, Housley was named the Sabres' new head coach.[37] 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.[38] Ruff joined the New York Rangers as an assistant coach.[39] 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.[40]
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.[41] On June 12, Boughner was named the team's new head coach.[42] 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.[43][44] 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.[45]
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.[46] Desjardins will coach the Canadian Olympic team for this season.[47] 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.[48]
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.[49]

This was the first NHL season since the 1966–67 season in which no coaching changes took place during the regular season.[50]

Arena changes[]

Regular season[]

The regular season began on October 4, 2017, and ended on April 8, 2018. Each team received a five-day "bye week", all of which took place in mid-January.[54]

International games[]

One of the games between the Ottawa Senators and the Colorado Avalanche at Ericsson Globe, Stockholm, Sweden.

Two regular season games between the Colorado Avalanche and the Ottawa Senators were played at Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, Sweden on November 10 and 11, 2017, branded as the SAP NHL Global Series.[55]

Outdoor games[]

All–Star Game[]

The 63rd National Hockey League All-Star Game was held in Tampa, Florida at Amalie Arena, home of the Tampa Bay Lightning, on January 28, 2018. The format did not change, and followed the format used in two previous All-Star games.[60]

Postponed game[]

The Florida PanthersBoston Bruins game scheduled for January 4, 2018, at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts was postponed due to the effects of the January 2018 nor'easter.[61] The game was rescheduled for April 8, the day after the regular season was originally scheduled to end.[62]

Standings[]

Top 3 (Metropolitan Division)
Pos Team GP W L OTL ROW GF GA GD Pts
1 y – Washington Capitals 82 49 26 7 46 259 239 +20 105
2 x – Pittsburgh Penguins 82 47 29 6 45 272 250 +22 100
3 x – Philadelphia Flyers 82 42 26 14 40 251 243 +8 98
Source: National Hockey League
x – Clinched playoff spot; y – Clinched division.
Top 3 (Atlantic Division)
Pos Team GP W L OTL ROW GF GA GD Pts
1 z – Tampa Bay Lightning 82 54 23 5 48 296 236 +60 113
2 x – Boston Bruins 82 50 20 12 47 270 214 +56 112
3 x – Toronto Maple Leafs 82 49 26 7 42 277 232 +45 105
Source: National Hockey League
x – Clinched playoff spot; z – Clinched conference.
Eastern Conference Wild Card
Pos Div Team GP W L OTL ROW GF GA GD Pts
1 ME x – Columbus Blue Jackets 82 45 30 7 39 242 230 +12 97
2 ME x – New Jersey Devils 82 44 29 9 39 248 244 +4 97
3 AT Florida Panthers 82 44 30 8 41 248 246 +2 96
4 ME Carolina Hurricanes 82 36 35 11 33 228 256 −28 83
5 ME New York Islanders 82 35 37 10 32 264 296 −32 80
6 ME New York Rangers 82 34 39 9 31 231 268 −37 77
7 AT Detroit Red Wings 82 30 39 13 25 217 255 −38 73
8 AT Montreal Canadiens 82 29 40 13 27 209 264 −55 71
9 AT Ottawa Senators 82 28 43 11 26 221 291 −70 67
10 AT Buffalo Sabres 82 25 45 12 24 199 280 −81 62
Source: National Hockey League
x – Clinched playoff spot.


Top 3 (Central Division)
Pos Team GP W L OTL ROW GF GA GD Pts
1 p – Nashville Predators 82 53 18 11 47 267 211 +56 117
2 x – Winnipeg Jets 82 52 20 10 48 277 218 +59 114
3 x – Minnesota Wild 82 45 26 11 42 253 232 +21 101
Source: National Hockey League
p – Clinched Presidents Trophy; x – Clinched playoff spot.
Top 3 (Pacific Division)
Pos Team GP W L OTL ROW GF GA GD Pts
1 y – Vegas Golden Knights 82 51 24 7 47 272 228 +44 109
2 x – Anaheim Ducks 82 44 25 13 40 235 216 +19 101
3 x – San Jose Sharks 82 45 27 10 40 252 229 +23 100
Source: National Hockey League
x – Clinched playoff spot; y – Clinched division.
Western Conference Wild Card
Pos Div Team GP W L OTL ROW GF GA GD Pts
1 PA x – Los Angeles Kings 82 45 29 8 43 239 203 +36 98
2 CE x – Colorado Avalanche 82 43 30 9 41 257 237 +20 95
3 CE St. Louis Blues 82 44 32 6 41 226 222 +4 94
4 CE Dallas Stars 82 42 32 8 38 235 225 +10 92
5 PA Calgary Flames 82 37 35 10 35 218 248 −30 84
6 PA Edmonton Oilers 82 36 40 6 31 234 263 −29 78
7 CE Chicago Blackhawks 82 33 39 10 32 229 256 −27 76
8 PA Vancouver Canucks 82 31 40 11 31 218 264 −46 73
9 PA Arizona Coyotes 82 29 41 12 27 208 256 −48 70
Source: National Hockey League
x – Clinched playoff spot.

Tie Breakers:
1. Fewer number of games played.
2. Greater Regulation + OT Wins (ROW)
3. Greatest number of points earned in head-to-head play (If teams played an unequal # of head-to-head games, the result of the first game on the home ice of the team with the extra home game is discarded.)
4. Greater Goal differential

Playoffs[]

Bracket[]

In each round, teams compete in a best-of-seven series following a 2–2–1–1–1 format (scores in the bracket indicate the number of games won in each best-of-seven series). The team with home ice advantage plays at home for games one and two (and games five and seven, if necessary), and the other team is at home for games three and four (and game six, if necessary). The top three teams in each division make the playoffs, along with two wild cards in each conference, for a total of eight teams from each conference.

In the First Round, the lower seeded wild card in the conference plays against the division winner with the best record while the other wild card plays against the other division winner, and both wild cards are de facto #4 seeds. The other series match the second and third place teams from the divisions. In the first two rounds, home ice advantage is awarded to the team with the better seed. Thereafter, it is awarded to the team that had the better regular season record.

  First Round Second Round Conference Finals Stanley Cup Finals
                                     
A1 Tampa Bay 4  
WC New Jersey 1  
  A1 Tampa Bay 0  
 
  A2 Boston 0  
A2 Boston 4
A3 Toronto 3  
   
Eastern Conference
   
M1 Washington 4  
WC Columbus 2  
  M1 Washington 0
 
  M2 Pittsburgh 0  
M2 Pittsburgh 4
M3 Philadelphia 2  
 
 
C1 Nashville 4  
WC Colorado 2  
  C1 Nashville 0
 
  C2 Winnipeg 0  
C2 Winnipeg 4
C3 Minnesota 1  
 
Western Conference
   
P1 Vegas 4  
WC Los Angeles 0  
  P1 Vegas 0
 
  P3 San Jose 0  
P2 Anaheim 0
P3 San Jose 4  
Legend


Statistics[]

Scoring leaders[]

The following players led the league in regular season points at the conclusion of games played on April 7, 2018.[63]

Player Team GP G A Pts +/– PIM
McDavid, ConnorConnor McDavid Edmonton Oilers 82 41 67 108 +20 26
Giroux, ClaudeClaude Giroux Philadelphia Flyers 82 34 68 102 +28 20
Kucherov, NikitaNikita Kucherov Tampa Bay Lightning 80 39 61 100 +15 42
Malkin, EvgeniEvgeni Malkin Pittsburgh Penguins 78 42 56 98 +16 87
MacKinnon, NathanNathan MacKinnon Colorado Avalanche 74 39 58 97 +11 55
Hall, TaylorTaylor Hall New Jersey Devils 76 39 54 93 +14 34
Kopitar, AnzeAnze Kopitar Los Angeles Kings 82 35 57 92 +21 20
Kessel, PhilPhil Kessel Pittsburgh Penguins 82 34 58 92 –4 36
Wheeler, BlakeBlake Wheeler Winnipeg Jets 81 23 68 91 +13 52
Crosby, SidneySidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins 82 29 60 89 0 46

Leading goaltenders[]

The following goaltenders led the league in regular season goals against average at the conclusion of games played on April 8, 2018, while playing at least 1,800 minutes.[64]

Player Team GP TOI W L OTL GA SO SV% GAA
Raanta, AnttiAntti Raanta Arizona Coyotes 47 2599:07 21 17 6 97 3 .930 2.24
Fleury, Marc-AndreMarc-Andre Fleury Vegas Golden Knights 46 2673:24 29 13 4 100 4 .927 2.24
Rinne, PekkaPekka Rinne Nashville Predators 59 3475:27 42 13 4 134 8 .927 2.31
Grubauer, PhilippPhilipp Grubauer Washington Capitals 35 1864:48 15 10 3 73 3 .923 2.35
Hellebuyck, ConnorConnor Hellebuyck Winnipeg Jets 67 3965:54 44 11 9 156 6 .924 2.36
Rask, TuukkaTuukka Rask Boston Bruins 54 3173:05 34 14 5 125 3 .917 2.36
Quick, JonathanJonathan Quick Los Angeles Kings 64 3677:05 33 28 3 147 5 .921 2.40
Bobrovsky, SergeiSergei Bobrovsky Columbus Blue Jackets 65 3911:34 37 22 6 158 5 .921 2.42
Gibson, JohnJohn Gibson Anaheim Ducks 60 3428:29 31 18 7 139 4 .926 2.43
Luongo, RobertoRoberto Luongo Florida Panthers 35 1965:58 18 11 2 81 3 .929 2.47

NHL awards[]

The league's awards will be presented at the NHL Awards ceremony, to be held following the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs on June 20 at the Las Vegas Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.[65] Finalists for voted awards are announced during the playoffs and winners are presented at the award ceremony. Voting will conclude immediately after the end of the regular season. The Presidents' Trophy, the Prince of Wales Trophy and Clarence S. Campbell Bowl are not presented at the awards ceremony. The Lester Patrick Trophy is announced during the summer and presented in the fall. For the first time, the Professional Hockey Writers' Association voted to release each voters' ballot to the public after the awards ceremony.[66]

2017–18 NHL awards
Award Recipient(s) Runner(s)-up/Finalists
Stanley Cup
Presidents' Trophy
(Best regular-season record)
Nashville Predators Winnipeg Jets
Prince of Wales Trophy
(Eastern Conference champion)
Clarence S. Campbell Bowl
(Western Conference champion)
Art Ross Trophy
(Player with most points)
Connor McDavid (Edmonton Oilers) Claude Giroux (Philadelphia Flyers)
Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy
(Perseverance, Sportsmanship, and Dedication)
Brian Boyle (New Jersey Devils)
Roberto Luongo (Florida Panthers)
Jordan Staal (Carolina Hurricanes)[67]
Calder Memorial Trophy
(Best first-year player)
Mathew Barzal (New York Islanders)
Brock Boeser (Vancouver Canucks)
Clayton Keller (Arizona Coyotes)[68]
Conn Smythe Trophy
(Most valuable player, playoffs)
N/A
Frank J. Selke Trophy
(Defensive forward)
Patrice Bergeron (Boston Bruins)
Sean Couturier (Philadelphia Flyers)
Anze Kopitar (Los Angeles Kings)[69]
Hart Memorial Trophy
(Most valuable player, regular season)
Jack Adams Award
(Best coach)
Jared Bednar (Colorado Avalanche)
Bruce Cassidy (Boston Bruins)
Gerard Gallant (Vegas Golden Knights)[70]
James Norris Memorial Trophy
(Best defenseman)
Drew Doughty (Los Angeles Kings)
Victor Hedman (Tampa Bay Lightning)
P. K. Subban (Nashville Predators)[71]
King Clancy Memorial Trophy
(Leadership and humanitarian contribution)
N/A
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy
(Sportsmanship and excellence)
Aleksander Barkov (Florida Panthers)
William Karlsson (Vegas Golden Knights)
Ryan O'Reilly (Buffalo Sabres)[72]
Ted Lindsay Award
(Outstanding player)
Mark Messier Leadership Award
(Leadership and community activities)
Deryk Engelland (Vegas Golden Knights)
Wayne Simmonds (Philadelphia Flyers)
Blake Wheeler (Winnipeg Jets)[73]
Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy
(Top goal-scorer)
Alexander Ovechkin (Washington Capitals) Patrik Laine (Winnipeg Jets)
NHL Foundation Player Award
(Award for community enrichment)
NHL General Manager of the Year Award
(Top general manager)
Vezina Trophy
(Best goaltender)
Connor Hellebuyck (Winnipeg Jets)
Pekka Rinne (Nashville Predators)
Andrei Vasilevskiy (Tampa Bay Lightning)[74]
William M. Jennings Trophy
(Goaltender(s) of team with fewest goals against)
Jonathan Quick (Los Angeles Kings) Pekka Rinne and Juuse Saros (Nashville Predators)
Lester Patrick Trophy
(Service to ice hockey in U.S.)
N/A


Milestones[]

First games[]

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
Scott Foster[75] Chicago Blackhawks Recreational goaltender that received playing time.
Nico Hischier[76] New Jersey Devils First overall pick in the 2017 Draft

Last games[]

The following is a list of players of note who played their last NHL game in 2017–18, listed with their team:

Player Team Notability
Daniel Sedin[77] Vancouver Canucks Art Ross Trophy winner, Ted Lindsay Award winner, over 1,300 games played, two-time NHL All-Star Team selection, three-time NHL All-Star
Henrik Sedin[77] Vancouver Canucks Art Ross Trophy winner, Hart Memorial Trophy winner, over 1,300 games played, two-time NHL All-Star Team selection, three-time NHL All-Star
Radim Vrbata[78] Florida Panthers Over 1,000 games played
Patrick Sharp Chicago Blackhawks Three-time Stanley Cup champion, over 1,000 games played including playoffs

Major milestones reached[]

Uniforms[]

See also[]

References[]

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