Rumour Report: Key pressure points approach in the NHL trade market

A lot of trade action is expected in the coming days and weeks. Here are the key pressure points.

Official start of NHL offseason - somewhere between June 4th and June 14th
The date in which all 31 squads are in offseason mode. Many teams wait until the season is over before making trades so to ensure they have as many bidders as possible. It's also generally considered good form among GMs to avoid stealing thunder from the Stanley Cup Finals.

NHL expansion draft deadline -  June 17th
The day teams must submit their protected players list for the Vegas Golden Knights expansion draft. Each team to must protect seven forwards, 3 defencemen, and 1 goaltender, OR one goaltender and 8 skaters. This is going to be major turning point in the trade market. Once teams know which players are vulnerable to being selected by Vegas (for nothing in return), the trade market is set.

NHL expansion draft - June 21st
On this day Vegas will announce the 30 players they have selected. Who they take, and more importantly, who they do not take, will set the table for the trade market. For instance, the Golden Knights goalie selections will greatly affect that market - do they go after younger goalies like Philipp Grubauer, Calvin Pickard and Antti Raanta, or do they want an experienced starter like Marc-Andre Fleury?

NHL draft - June 23rd and 24th
Many trade offers include draft picks, which is why this date has become such a major pressure point. For teams that stocked up on draft picks at the trade deadline, this is their chance to cash in. Expect a huge flurry of activity in the leadup to and during the draft.

NHL free agency interview window - 12:00 AM ET, June 25th
Teams will quickly pivot to free agency immediately after day two of the entry draft. Teams can talk to any pending UFA at this time. If a player makes it this far, it often means they're heading to market. It's also the moment teams can't realistically trade a player's negotiating rights, so the pressure is on.

NHL free agency - 12:00 PM ET, July 1st
The final pressure point for teams scrambling to re-sign players. Once early July has come and gone, the free agent talent pool dries up. At that point, teams that missed out on free agent targets will turn to the trade market to fill needs. You can keep track of the trade rumour mill here and the free agency rumour mill here.

It's going to be a fun offseason - likely the busiest in years. Give NHL Rumour Report on Facebook a follow so you don't miss out on the latest rumour updates.

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