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NHL Expansion Draft: What are the critical dates?

The draft itself is right around the corner, but there’s plenty happening before then.

Las Vegas NHL Franchise Reveals Team Name And Logo Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Are you sick of expansion draft talk yet? Yes? Too bad!

The draft itself is just under three weeks away, on June 21. However, there are a number of things that are going to happen between then and now that will have a pretty big impact on a number of NHL teams.

Straight from the league, here’s your calendar of “critical” dates:

Monday, June 12 This is the last day a team is able to ask a player with a NMC to waive that clause to allow the team to expose him to the expansion draft.

Wednesday, June 14 If the Cup Final goes seven games, this is the day of Game 7, meaning the offseason starts the next day.

Thursday, June 15 The first buy-out window opens. This could change based on when the Cup Final ends, but the league could also elect to leave it where it is. This is also the deadline for teams to ask guys with NMCs if they want to be bought out before the expansion draft. And it’s the sixth anniversary of the Bruins winning the Cup, WOO!

Friday, June 16 This is the last day before the expansion draft roster freeze, meaning it’s the last chance a team will have to waive, buy out or trade a guy before the draft. It’s also the deadline for a player who was asked to waive his NMC for the draft to agree to do so.

Saturday, June 17 The roster freeze begins. No signing, trading, waiving, etc. Today is also the deadline for teams to submit their protected lists to the league.

Sunday, June 18 The league will approve and distribute the protected lists for all teams, including Vegas. This also starts the interview period for Vegas, as they’re able to talk to players who aren’t protected. The 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st should be some exciting, rumor-filled days/

Wednesday, June 21 Expansion draft day! Vegas will make its picks and their squad will be announced in conjunction with the league’s Awards night.

Thursday June, 22 The freeze that started on the 17th is over, and the league returns to business as usual.

Buckle up!