Though the Colorado Avalanche are well into their offseason, there are still some hockey dates coming up that are significant for the team.
The Colorado Avalanche are officially done with playing hockey for the 2016-17 season. Even the players who were representing their countries at the IIHF World Championship have completed their tournament.
In case you missed the results:
Team Sweden = Gold
Team Canada = Silver
Mikko Rantanen competed with Team Finland for the Bronze Medal, but Russia prevailed.
Though we’ve already been lamenting, “Is it October yet?” truthfully, we have some important dates for hockey coming up.
Now, the Conference Finals are still in session. The Stanley Cup Finals should take place around the first week of June. Unfortunately, of course, that has nothing to do with the Colorado Avalanche.
In any case, here are some dates throughout the summer that actually do pertain to the Avs.
June 1: Deadline for reserve list. The Colorado Avalanche must make an offer to any players drafted in 2015 to retain their rights. Clubs may have up to 90 players signed and on their reserve list. The only player from 2015 who hasn’t been extended an offer to is center Gustav Olhaver.
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June 15-30: This is the standard buyout window. Teams can buy out player contracts at this time. The names most bandied about for buyout are defenseman Francois Beauchemin and wing Blake Comeau, both of whom have one year left on their contracts.
June 17: The deadline for the Avalanche to submit its list of protected players for the Expansion Draft. We’ll explore in a future post what that might look like for Colorado, but unless Francois Beauchemin waives his No Move clause, they’ll have to protect eight skaters and a goalie. They will lose one unprotected player.
June 21: NHL Annual Awards Show, Las Vegas. It doesn’t look likely that any Colorado Avalanche players or coaches will be up for awards. The last time the Avs won awards was in 2014: Patrick Roy, Jack Adams; Nathan MacKinnon, Calder Trophy; Ryan O’Reilly, Lady Bing.
June 21: At the Awards Show, the NHL will reveal the 30 players the Las Vegas Golden Knights have selected as part of the Expansion Draft.
June 22-29: As Patrick Roy would say, NHL officials will be at Starbucks planning next year’s schedule, which will be announced somewhere at the end of June. We already know a couple dates for the Avalanche:
- September 19: vs. Las Vegas Golden Knights (preseason)
- September 28: at Las Vegas (preseason)
- November 10: vs. Ottawa Senators (in Sweden)
- November 11: vs. Ottawa Senators (in Sweden)
Unless the NHL changes its mind, the season will not be compacted for players to participate in the 2018 Olympic Games.
June 23-24: The 2017 NHL Entry Draft takes place at the United Center in Chicago. The Colorado Avalanche have picks in each round except the third, which they traded to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for defenseman Eric Gelinas. Colorado lost the Draft Lottery, so they dropped to the #4 selection in the first round.
June 26: The Colorado Avalanche must submit qualifying offers for any restricted free agents. The following players are RFAs this summer:
- Sven Andrighetto, right wing
- Matthew Nieto, wing
- Mikhail Grigorenko, center
- Patrick Wiercioch, defenseman
- Nikita Zadorov, defenseman
- Eric Gelinas, defenseman
It’s highly unlikely Wiercioch, Grigorenko or Gelinas will be qualified. Its almost certain Zadorov will receive a qualifying offer. I’d expect Andrighetto and Nieto to be qualified as well.
July 1: Free Agency Frenzy begins. The following players are unrestricted free agents this summer:
- Rene Bourque, left wing
- John Mitchell, center
- Cody Goloubeg, defenseman
- Fedor Tyutin, defenseman
- Jeremy Smith, goalie
I doubt any of those players will be retained. GM Joe Sakic has also said they won’t be big players in the free agent market.
July 5: This is the deadline for player-elected salary arbitration. All of the above RFAs are eligible for salary arbitration except Zadorov. Duncan Siemens is also on that list.
July 6: This is the deadline for team-elected arbitration. I don’t think there are any RFAs aside from Zadorov the Avs care enough about.
July 4-9: The Colorado Avalanche typically hold their Prospect Development Camp somewhere around this time. In addition to whomever they draft this year, the following players are eligible to attend:
- Gustav Olhaver, center
- Cameron Morrison, left wing
- Josh Anderson, defenseman
- Adam Werner, goalie
- Nathan Clurman, defenseman
- Travis Barron, left wing
July 15: This is the deadline for players to accept qualifying offers.
July 20 – August 4: Arbitration dates.
August 15: Deadline for the Colorado Avalanche to sign defenseman Will Butcher, whom they drafted in 2013. Butcher’s deadline is different because of his college career. He just graduated from Denver University.
The Colorado Avalanche will host their rookie camp followed by training camp in the middle of September. Since preseason play starts somewhere around September 17, the rookie camp may start around September 9 with regular training camp beginning September 12 or 13. The team’s annual burgundy and white game will probably be that weekend, either Saturday September 16 or Sunday September 17.
The 2017-18 NHL season starts on October 4.