|2017–18 NHL season|
|League||National Hockey League|
|Duration||October 4, 2017 – June 2018|
|Number of games||82|
|Number of teams||31|
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 will begin on October 4, 2017, and will end on April 7, 2018. The 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs will then begin a few days afterwards, with the Stanley Cup Finals held in early June.
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, whose identity was revealed as the Vegas Golden Knights on November 22. The team will play in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference.
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). Each team's mandatory bye week, stipulated in the league's CBA, was also scattered throughout the month of January.
The restriction will apply to any player under NHL contract, including those in its affiliated minor leagues.  Several players have vowed to participate anyway, most notably Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin.  As the league had little legal room to enforce a ban itself without running afoul of the National Hockey League Players Association, 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.
The NHL Board of Governors passed some new rules that take effect this season, including:
- coach's challenge of offside - the original rule was put in place after a series of highly blatant off-side calls had been missed. The rule soon became a huge time waster, often to review the exact millimeter that a skate and the puck pass the blue line. To reduce the number of coach's challenges, there is now a two-minute penalty for delay of game if the review does not result in an offside being overturned.
- no timeouts after icing - as a team that causes an icing is not allowed to change the players on the ice, coaches took to calling their 30-second timeout to allow their players to rest, getting around the intent of the "no-changes" rule. This rule change eliminates that practice.
- touching high-sticked puck by power play team - previously, if a team on the man advantage played a puck after it was high-sticked, no matter where on the ice this happened, the play was stopped and the faceoff come all the way back to their own zone. This has been adjusted slightly so that, if the infraction happens in the short handed team's zone, the faceoff will only be moved back to the neutral zone outside the short handed team’s zone.
The Board of Governors has also stated that existing rules be fully enforced in certain situations that had become "unofficially" ignored:
- enforcement of slashing rules - not a rule change as such, referees are now expected to enforce the existing two-minute penalty for slashing when players chop at the wrists and hands of a puck carrier. This follows a series of injuries - including a partially chopped-off finger - for this common practice that was rarely being penalized.
- faceoff infractions - not a rule change as such, referees are now expected to enforce the existing two-minute penalty for improper stance by a player taking a faceoff. This follows an extensive period where players have not been standing with their feet properly placed within the limits of the markings by the dot, with their bodies square to the end boards.
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) will hold the regional television rights for the new Vegas Golden Knights expansion team. TSN has re-gained regional English-language rights to the Montreal Canadiens, and extended its radio contract with co-owned CKGM. Rogers Media has acquired the radio rights for the Vancouver Canucks for newly-acquired 650 CISL.
The NHL's centennial commemorations will continue 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. The Toronto Maple Leafs will mark the centennial of the NHL's first game (which involved their predecessor, the Toronto Arenas) during their December 19, 2017 game against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Pre-season games in China
|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. On July 11, 2017, Tocchet was named as the new head coach of the Coyotes. 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. On June 15, Housley was named the Sabres' new head coach. 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. Ruff joined the New York Rangers as an assistant coach. 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.|
|Florida Panthers||Gerard Gallant
|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. On June 12, Boughner was named the team's new head coach. 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. 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.|
|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. Desjardins will coach the Canadian Olympic team for this season. 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.|
|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.|
- The Detroit Red Wings will move to Little Caesars Arena, replacing their longtime home, the Joe Louis Arena.
- The Vegas Golden Knights will play their inaugural season at T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada.
- The Washington Capitals' home arena was renamed from Verizon Center to Capital One Arena.
- The Winnipeg Jets' home arena was renamed from MTS Centre to Bell MTS Place in observance of the BCE Inc. acquisition of Manitoba Telecom Services (MTS) earlier in the year.
The regular season will begin on October 4, 2017, and end on April 7, 2018. Each team will receive a five-day "bye week", and all of them will take place in mid-January.
Two regular season games will be played in Stockholm, Sweden as part of the 2017 SAP NHL Global Series, the league announced on March 24, 2017. The games will be played between the Colorado Avalanche and the Ottawa Senators at the Ericsson Globe on November 10 and 11, 2017. This is the first NHL game(s) to be held outside North America since the 2011 NHL Premiere contest.
- The 100 Classic will be held on December 16, 2017 at TD Place Stadium in Lansdowne Park, Ottawa, featuring the Montreal Canadiens against the Ottawa Senators.
- The Winter Classic will be held on January 1, 2018 at Citi Field in Flushing, New York, with the New York Rangers playing the Buffalo Sabres.
- The Stadium Series will be held on March 3, 2018 at Navy–Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland, featuring two of last seasons playoff teams, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Washington Capitals.
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.
- Adidas will become the official uniform and apparel provider beginning with the 2017–18 season. As part of the transition from Reebok to Adidas, no third jerseys will be worn this season. The uniforms were unveiled on June 20, 2017.
- All jerseys will continue to have patches of the NHL's centennial emblem, located above or below the numbers on their right sleeves, for at least up to the playing of the NHL 100 Classic on December 16.
- Rosen, Dan (June 22, 2016). "Las Vegas awarded NHL franchise". National Hockey League. Retrieved June 22, 2016.
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- Gretz, Adam (November 22, 2016). "Say hello to the Vegas Golden Knights". NBC Sports. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
But the important thing here is the name, as well as the logo which works the letter “V” (for Vegas, obviously) into the knight’s mask.
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