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
Playoffs
Stanley Cup
Seasons

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 8, 2018. The 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs will then begin a few days afterwards, 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.[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 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]

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.[19] TSN has re-gained regional English-language rights to the Montreal Canadiens, and extended its radio contract with co-owned CKGM.[20][21] Rogers Media has acquired the radio rights for the Vancouver Canucks for newly acquired 650 CISL.[22]

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.[23][24]

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.[25][26] Mayor of Toronto John Tory also declared December 19 "Toronto Maple Leafs Day".[27]

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.[28] These were the first NHL games ever played in China.[29]

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.[30][31] On July 11, 2017, Tocchet was named as the new head coach of the Coyotes.[32] 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.[33] On June 15, Housley was named the Sabres' new head coach.[34] 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.[35] Ruff joined the New York Rangers as an assistant coach.[36] 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.[37]
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.[38] On June 12, Boughner was named the team's new head coach.[39] 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.[40][41] 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.[42]
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.[43] Desjardins will coach the Canadian Olympic team for this season.[44] 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.[45]
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.[46]

Arena changes[]

Regular season[]

The regular season began on October 4, 2017, and will end on April 8, 2018. Each team will receive a five-day "bye week", and all of them will take place in mid-January.[50]

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.[51]

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.[56]

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.[57] The game was rescheduled for April 8.[58]

Standings[]

Top 3 (Metropolitan Division)
Pos Team GP W L OTL ROW GF GA GD Pts
1 Washington Capitals 48 28 15 5 25 146 136 +10 61
2 New Jersey Devils 45 24 13 8 21 142 137 +5 56
3 Columbus Blue Jackets 47 26 18 3 20 126 130 −4 55
Top 3 (Atlantic Division)
Pos Team GP W L OTL ROW GF GA GD Pts
1 Tampa Bay Lightning 46 31 12 3 29 164 121 +43 65
2 Boston Bruins 45 27 10 8 24 150 112 +38 62
3 Toronto Maple Leafs 48 26 17 5 22 153 139 +14 57
Eastern Conference Wild Card
Pos Div Team GP W L OTL ROW GF GA GD Pts
1 ME Philadelphia Flyers 47 23 16 8 23 137 134 +3 54
2 ME New York Rangers 48 24 19 5 21 144 140 +4 53
3 ME Pittsburgh Penguins 49 25 21 3 23 142 149 −7 53
4 ME New York Islanders 48 24 20 4 21 168 176 −8 52
5 ME Carolina Hurricanes 47 21 18 8 18 130 146 −16 50
6 AT Florida Panthers 45 19 20 6 17 129 148 −19 44
7 AT Montreal Canadiens 47 19 22 6 17 120 148 −28 44
8 AT Detroit Red Wings 45 18 20 7 15 120 138 −18 43
9 AT Ottawa Senators 44 15 20 9 14 121 157 −36 39
10 AT Buffalo Sabres 46 11 26 9 11 103 162 −59 31
Updated to game(s) played on January 21, 2018. Source: National Hockey League


Top 3 (Central Division)
Pos Team GP W L OTL ROW GF GA GD Pts
1 Winnipeg Jets 48 28 13 7 26 156 128 +28 63
2 Nashville Predators 45 28 11 6 24 139 119 +20 62
3 St. Louis Blues 49 28 18 3 25 142 129 +13 59
Top 3 (Pacific Division)
Pos Team GP W L OTL ROW GF GA GD Pts
1 Vegas Golden Knights 46 31 11 4 29 157 123 +34 66
2 San Jose Sharks 46 26 14 6 23 134 122 +12 58
3 Calgary Flames 46 25 16 5 23 132 127 +5 55
Western Conference Wild Card
Pos Div Team GP W L OTL ROW GF GA GD Pts
1 CE Dallas Stars 48 27 17 4 24 148 129 +19 58
2 CE Colorado Avalanche 45 26 16 3 25 150 130 +20 55
3 CE Minnesota Wild 47 25 17 5 23 138 133 +5 55
4 PA Los Angeles Kings 47 25 17 5 23 135 114 +21 55
5 PA Anaheim Ducks 48 22 17 9 20 131 135 −4 53
6 CE Chicago Blackhawks 46 22 18 6 22 139 130 +9 50
7 PA Edmonton Oilers 47 21 23 3 20 131 149 −18 45
8 PA Vancouver Canucks 47 18 23 6 18 121 153 −32 42
9 PA Arizona Coyotes 48 11 28 9 10 114 168 −54 31
Updated to game(s) played on January 21, 2018. Source: National Hockey League

Statistics[]

Scoring leaders[]

The following players led the league in regular season points at the conclusion of games played on January 21, 2018.[59]

Player Team GP G A Pts +/– PIM
Kucherov, NikitaNikita Kucherov Tampa Bay Lightning 46 27 34 61 +10 28
MacKinnon, NathanNathan MacKinnon Colorado Avalanche 45 23 36 59 +10 32
Tavares, JohnJohn Tavares New York Islanders 48 26 31 57 +1 16
Giroux, ClaudeClaude Giroux Philadelphia Flyers 47 14 41 55 +9 14
Kessel, PhilPhil Kessel Pittsburgh Penguins 49 21 33 54 –10 30
Stamkos, StevenSteven Stamkos Tampa Bay Lightning 46 17 37 54 +14 14
Gaudreau, JohnnyJohnny Gaudreau Calgary Flames 46 15 39 54 +14 10
Wheeler, BlakeBlake Wheeler Winnipeg Jets 48 14 40 54 +7 28
McDavid, ConnorConnor McDavid Edmonton Oilers 47 15 38 53 +11 12
Bailey, JoshJosh Bailey New York Islanders 44 12 41 53 +3 13

Leading goaltenders[]

The following goaltenders led the league in regular season goals against average at the conclusion of games played on January 21, 2018, while playing at least 1,500 minutes.[60]

Player Team GP TOI W L OTL GA SO SV% GAA
Rask, TuukkaTuukka Rask Boston Bruins 30 1769:31 17 8 4 64 2 .921 2.17
Crawford, CoreyCorey Crawford Chicago Blackhawks 28 1583:30 16 9 2 60 2 .929 2.27
Vasilevskiy, AndreiAndrei Vasilevskiy Tampa Bay Lightning 39 2297:31 27 9 2 87 6 .927 2.27
Hellebuyck, ConnorConnor Hellebuyck Winnipeg Jets 39 2276:57 25 6 6 87 4 .925 2.29
Quick, JonathanJonathan Quick Los Angeles Kings 38 2235:29 20 16 2 87 3 .924 2.33
Rinne, PekkaPekka Rinne Nashville Predators 34 2004:43 23 8 3 81 3 .925 2.42
Smith, MikeMike Smith Calgary Flames 39 2282:39 20 13 4 92 2 .925 2.42
Bobrovsky, SergeiSergei Bobrovsky Columbus Blue Jackets 38 2291:31 21 14 3 93 4 .920 2.44
Bishop, BenBen Bishop Dallas Stars 37 2123:43 20 13 2 87 4 .917 2.46
Lundqvist, HenrikHenrik Lundqvist New York Rangers 41 2351:37 21 13 4 100 2 .924 2.55

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
Nico Hischier[61] 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
Mark Streit[62] Montreal Canadiens 1-time Stanley Cup Champion with the Pittsburgh Penguins, 1-time NHL All-Star.

Major milestones reached[]

Uniforms[]

See also[]

References[]

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External links[]