When does NHL Free Agency start?

- When does NHL Free Agency begin?

- Colorado Avalanche currently salary cap situation

- Colorado Avalanche have questions to answer

Dallas Stars v Colorado Avalanche - Game Four
Dallas Stars v Colorado Avalanche - Game Four / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages

This time of year, most teams are figuring out their offseason gameplan. That includes free agency, which is highly anticipated not only by teams, but fans as well. Each and every team has questions they want to answer not only when free agency begins, but perhaps even before then.

Players don’t officially become free agents until the event opens. That means that pending free agents can still sign a long-term deal with their current club without hitting the open market. That’s typically the ideal outcome, but understandably, sometimes the two sides agree to part ways without negotiations.

I fully expect the Colorado Avalanche to at least come close to an agreement with pending free agent Jonathan Drouin, who could see a nice pay upgrade in free agency. I think that he certainly has earned it but I don’t expect it to be out of range for the Avalanche at this point. That being said, another team could still swoop in and snatch him up if his side and the Avalanche don’t come to an agreement.

When does NHL free agency open this offseason?

The Avalanche have a couple of weeks to come to terms with their unrestricted free agents. 2024 NHL Free Agency begins on July 1st at noon ET.

Per Spotrac, the Colorado Avalanche have just over $9.3 million to spend as of right now. In the grand scheme of things, that’s not a whole lot of money to play with, given the team’s unique circumstances. What do they do with Valeri Nichushkin? How about Gabriel Landeskog? Perhaps nothing, which would mean low-profile free agent moves at the very most.

Still, it’s fun to imagine a world where they could go after some bigger names, but also some bargains and realistic options. The two latter options are going to be the team’s gameplan as they can’t sign big names due to cap contraints.