|2017-18 NHL season|
|League||National Hockey League|
|Duration||October 4, 2017 - June 7, 2018|
|Number of games||82|
|Number of teams||31|
|Top draft pick||Nico Hischier|
|Picked by||New Jersey Devils|
|Presidents' Trophy||Nashville Predators|
|Season MVP||Taylor Hall (Devils)|
|Top scorer||Connor McDavid (Oilers)|
|Playoffs MVP||Alexander Ovechkin (Capitals)|
|Runners-up||Vegas Golden Knights|
The 2017-18 NHL season was 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 competed in an 82-game regular season. The regular season began on October 4, 2017, and ended on April 8, 2018. The 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs began on April 11, 2018, and concluded on June 7, with the Washington Capitals winning their first Stanley Cup in the Finals over the Vegas Golden Knights in five games.
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 plays in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference. In June 2017, the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft was held to fill out the Golden Knights roster.
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, 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. Several players had vowed to participate anyway, most notably Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin. They did not wind up participating. The league had initially stated that minor league prospects would not be subject to the ban. 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.
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. 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; Iginla, because of a lingering injury, would not go to the Olympics.
The NHL Board of Governors passed some new rules that take effect this season, including:
The Board of Governors has also stated that existing rules be fully enforced in certain situations that had become "unofficially" ignored:
This was 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. On December 19, 2017, Rogers Media renewed its sub-licensing agreement with CBC Television for Hockey Night in Canada (which was to expire after this season) through the remainder of its tenure as national rightsholder.
Since CBC and NBC also hold the rights to air the Olympics in their respective countries, Rogers did not schedule any HNIC games on CBC during those Saturdays nights, only airing games on City and Sportsnet. NBC originally decided not to air any NHL games at all during the Olympics, but later reversed course, and added three Sunday afternoon telecasts during the Olympics.
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) was the inaugural regional television rightsholder for the Vegas Golden Knights. TSN re-gained regional English-language rights to the Montreal Canadiens, and extended its radio contract for co-owned CKGM. Rogers Media acquired the radio rights to the Vancouver Canucks for newly acquired 650 CISL.
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.
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 this matinee game. Mayor of Toronto John Tory also declared December 19 "Toronto Maple Leafs Day".
On March 30, 2017, it was announced that the Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks would play two preseason games in China; on September 21 at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai and September 23 at the Beijing Wukesong Culture & Sports Center in Beijing. These were the first NHL games played 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 head coach.|
The regular season began on October 4, 2017, and ended on April 8, 2018. Each team received a five-day "bye week", all of which took place in mid-January.
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.
The 63rd National Hockey League All-Star Game was held in Tampa, Florida at Amalie Arena, home of the Tampa Bay Lightning, on January 28, 2018. The format did not change, and followed the format used in two previous All-Star games.
The Florida Panthers - Boston 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. The game was rescheduled for April 8, the day after the regular season was originally scheduled to end.
|1||y – Washington Capitals||82||49||26||7||46||259||239||+20||105|
|2||x – Pittsburgh Penguins||82||47||29||6||45||272||250||+22||100|
|3||x – Philadelphia Flyers||82||42||26||14||40||251||243||+8||98|
|1||z – Tampa Bay Lightning||82||54||23||5||48||296||236||+60||113|
|2||x – Boston Bruins||82||50||20||12||47||270||214||+56||112|
|3||x – Toronto Maple Leafs||82||49||26||7||42||277||232||+45||105|
|1||ME||x – Columbus Blue Jackets||82||45||30||7||39||242||230||+12||97|
|2||ME||x – New Jersey Devils||82||44||29||9||39||248||244||+4||97|
|5||ME||New York Islanders||82||35||37||10||32||264||296||−32||80|
|6||ME||New York Rangers||82||34||39||9||31||231||268||−37||77|
|7||AT||Detroit Red Wings||82||30||39||13||25||217||255||−38||73|
|1||p – Nashville Predators||82||53||18||11||47||267||211||+56||117|
|2||x – Winnipeg Jets||82||52||20||10||48||277||218||+59||114|
|3||x – Minnesota Wild||82||45||26||11||42||253||232||+21||101|
|1||y – Vegas Golden Knights||82||51||24||7||47||272||228||+44||109|
|2||x – Anaheim Ducks||82||44||25||13||40||235||216||+19||101|
|3||x – San Jose Sharks||82||45||27||10||40||252||229||+23||100|
|1||PA||x – Los Angeles Kings||82||45||29||8||43||239||203||+36||98|
|2||CE||x – Colorado Avalanche||82||43||30||9||41||257||237||+20||95|
|3||CE||St. Louis Blues||82||44||32||6||41||226||222||+4||94|
1. Fewer number of games played.
2. Greater Regulation + OT Wins (ROW)
3. Greatest number of points earned in head-to-head play (If teams played an unequal # of head-to-head games, the result of the first game on the home ice of the team with the extra home game is discarded.)
4. Greater Goal differential
In each round, teams competed in a best-of-seven series following a 2-2-1-1-1 format (scores in the bracket indicate the number of games won in each best-of-seven series). The team with home ice advantage played at home for games one and two (and games five and seven, if necessary), and the other team was at home for games three and four (and game six, if necessary). The top three teams in each division made the playoffs, along with two wild cards in each conference, for a total of eight teams from each conference.
In the First Round, the lower seeded wild card in the conference played against the division winner with the best record while the other wild card played against the other division winner, and both wild cards were de facto #4 seeds. The other series matched the second and third place teams from the divisions. In the first two rounds, home ice advantage was awarded to the team with the better seed. Thereafter, it was awarded to the team that had the better regular season record.
|First Round||Second Round||Conference Finals||Stanley Cup Finals|
The following players led the league in regular season points at the conclusion of games played on April 7, 2018.
|Connor McDavid||Edmonton Oilers||82||41||67||108||+20||26|
|Claude Giroux||Philadelphia Flyers||82||34||68||102||+28||20|
|Nikita Kucherov||Tampa Bay Lightning||80||39||61||100||+15||42|
|Evgeni Malkin||Pittsburgh Penguins||78||42||56||98||+16||87|
|Nathan MacKinnon||Colorado Avalanche||74||39||58||97||+11||55|
|Taylor Hall||New Jersey Devils||76||39||54||93||+14||34|
|Anze Kopitar||Los Angeles Kings||82||35||57||92||+21||20|
|Phil Kessel||Pittsburgh Penguins||82||34||58||92||-4||36|
|Blake Wheeler||Winnipeg Jets||81||23||68||91||+13||52|
|Sidney Crosby||Pittsburgh Penguins||82||29||60||89||0||46|
|Antti Raanta||Arizona Coyotes||47||2599:07||21||17||6||97||3||.930||2.24|
|Marc-Andre Fleury||Vegas Golden Knights||46||2673:24||29||13||4||100||4||.927||2.24|
|Pekka Rinne||Nashville Predators||59||3475:27||42||13||4||134||8||.927||2.31|
|Philipp Grubauer||Washington Capitals||35||1864:48||15||10||3||73||3||.923||2.35|
|Connor Hellebuyck||Winnipeg Jets||67||3965:54||44||11||9||156||6||.924||2.36|
|Tuukka Rask||Boston Bruins||54||3173:05||34||14||5||125||3||.917||2.36|
|Jonathan Quick||Los Angeles Kings||64||3677:05||33||28||3||147||5||.921||2.40|
|Sergei Bobrovsky||Columbus Blue Jackets||65||3911:34||37||22||6||158||5||.921||2.42|
|John Gibson||Anaheim Ducks||60||3428:29||31||18||7||139||4||.926||2.43|
|Roberto Luongo||Florida Panthers||35||1965:58||18||11||2||81||3||.929||2.47|
The league's awards were presented at the NHL Awards ceremony, that was held following the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs on June 20 at the Las Vegas Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Finalists for voted awards were announced during the playoffs and winners were presented at the award ceremony. Voting concluded immediately after the end of the regular season. The Presidents' Trophy, the Prince of Wales Trophy and Clarence S. Campbell Bowl are not presented at the awards ceremony. The Lester Patrick Trophy is announced during the summer and presented in the fall. For the first time, the Professional Hockey Writers' Association voted to release each voters' ballot to the public after the awards ceremony.
|Stanley Cup||Washington Capitals||Vegas Golden Knights|
(Best regular season record)
|Nashville Predators||Winnipeg Jets|
|Prince of Wales Trophy
(Eastern Conference playoff champion)
|Washington Capitals||Tampa Bay Lightning|
|Clarence S. Campbell Bowl
(Western Conference playoff champion)
|Vegas Golden Knights||Winnipeg Jets|
|Art Ross Trophy
(Player with most points)
|Connor McDavid (Edmonton Oilers)||Claude Giroux (Philadelphia Flyers)|
|Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy
(Perseverance, Sportsmanship, and Dedication)
|Brian Boyle (New Jersey Devils)||Roberto Luongo (Florida Panthers)|
Jordan Staal (Carolina Hurricanes)
|Calder Memorial Trophy
(Best first-year player)
|Mathew Barzal (New York Islanders)||Brock Boeser (Vancouver Canucks)|
Clayton Keller (Arizona Coyotes)
|Conn Smythe Trophy
(Most valuable player, playoffs)
|Alexander Ovechkin (Washington Capitals)||N/A|
|Frank J. Selke Trophy
|Anze Kopitar (Los Angeles Kings)||Patrice Bergeron (Boston Bruins)|
Sean Couturier (Philadelphia Flyers)
|Hart Memorial Trophy
(Most valuable player, regular season)
|Taylor Hall (New Jersey Devils)||Anze Kopitar (Los Angeles Kings)|
Nathan MacKinnon (Colorado Avalanche)
|Jack Adams Award
|Gerard Gallant (Vegas Golden Knights)||Jared Bednar (Colorado Avalanche)|
Bruce Cassidy (Boston Bruins)
|James Norris Memorial Trophy
|Victor Hedman (Tampa Bay Lightning)||Drew Doughty (Los Angeles Kings)|
P. K. Subban (Nashville Predators)
|King Clancy Memorial Trophy
(Leadership and humanitarian contribution)
|Daniel and Henrik Sedin (Vancouver Canucks)||P. K. Subban (Nashville Predators)|
Jason Zucker (Minnesota Wild)
|Lady Byng Memorial Trophy
(Sportsmanship and excellence)
|William Karlsson (Vegas Golden Knights)||Aleksander Barkov (Florida Panthers)|
Ryan O'Reilly (Buffalo Sabres)
|Ted Lindsay Award
|Connor McDavid (Edmonton Oilers)||Taylor Hall (New Jersey Devils)|
Nathan MacKinnon (Colorado Avalanche)
|Mark Messier Leadership Award
(Leadership and community activities)
|Deryk Engelland (Vegas Golden Knights)||Wayne Simmonds (Philadelphia Flyers)|
Blake Wheeler (Winnipeg Jets)
|Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy
|Alexander Ovechkin (Washington Capitals)||Patrik Laine (Winnipeg Jets)|
|NHL General Manager of the Year Award
(Top general manager)
|George McPhee (Vegas Golden Knights)
||Kevin Cheveldayoff (Winnipeg Jets)|
Steve Yzerman (Tampa Bay Lightning)
|Pekka Rinne (Nashville Predators)||Connor Hellebuyck (Winnipeg Jets)|
Andrei Vasilevskiy (Tampa Bay Lightning)
|William M. Jennings Trophy
(Goaltender(s) of team with fewest goals against)
|Jonathan Quick (Los Angeles Kings)||Pekka Rinne and Juuse Saros (Nashville Predators)|
|Lester Patrick Trophy
(Service to ice hockey in U.S.)
(Former player, Hartford, IHL, 1988 and 1992 Olympic teams)
|Position||First Team||Second Team||Position||All-Rookie|
|G||Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators||Connor Hellebuyck, Winnipeg Jets||G||Juuse Saros, Nashville Predators|
|D||Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings||Seth Jones, Columbus Blue Jackets||D||Will Butcher, New Jersey Devils|
|D||Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning||P. K. Subban, Nashville Predators||D||Charlie McAvoy, Boston Bruins|
|C||Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers||Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche||F||Mathew Barzal, New York Islanders|
|RW||Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning||Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg Jets||F||Brock Boeser, Vancouver Canucks|
|LW||Taylor Hall, New Jersey Devils||Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers||F||Clayton Keller, Arizona Coyotes|
The following is a list of notable players who played their first NHL game during the 2017-18 season, listed with their first team.
|Scott Foster||Chicago Blackhawks||Recreational goaltender who received playing time|
|Nico Hischier||New Jersey Devils||First overall pick in the 2017 Draft|
|Nathan Walker||Washington Capitals||First Australian to play in the NHL|
The following is a list of players of note who played their last NHL game in 2017-18, listed with their team:
|Mike Fisher||Nashville Predators||Over 1,100 games played|
|Brian Gionta||Boston Bruins||Over 1,000 games played|
|Scott Hartnell||Nashville Predators||Over 1,200 games played|
|Rick Nash||Boston Bruins||Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy winner, NHL Foundation Player Award winner, over 1,000 games played, six-time NHL All-Star|
|Daniel Sedin||Vancouver Canucks||Art Ross Trophy winner, Ted Lindsay Award winner, King Clancy Memorial Trophy winner, over 1,300 games played, two-time NHL All-Star Team selection, three-time NHL All-Star|
|Henrik Sedin||Vancouver Canucks||Art Ross Trophy winner, Hart Memorial Trophy winner, King Clancy Memorial Trophy winner, over 1,300 games played, two-time NHL All-Star Team selection, three-time NHL All-Star|
|Patrick Sharp||Chicago Blackhawks||Over 1,000 games played|
|Matt Stajan||Calgary Flames||Over 1,000 games played|
|Antoine Vermette||Anaheim Ducks||Over 1,000 games played|
|Radim Vrbata||Florida Panthers||Over 1,000 games played|
|Henrik Zetterberg||Detroit Red Wings||Conn Smythe Trophy winner, King Clancy Memorial Trophy winner, NHL Foundation Player Award winner, NHL All-Star Team selection, over 1,000 games played|
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.
Watch for Team Canada to extend an invitation for Jarome Iginla at the Karjala Cup. (...) It will give us a first look at potential Canadian Olympians.
NOTES: Retiring Panthers F Radim Vrbata played his last game. Vrbata played 1,057 career games, including 42 with the Panthers.
NHL Linesman Ryan Galloway officiated his 1,000th NHL game at home in his native Winnipeg on Friday.