The NHL is about to freeze over. Today as part of the Expansion Draft process, the freeze on trades, signings and waivers by anyone but Seattle goes into effect at 3 p.m. (all times are New York Time in NHL rules).
The purpose is to freeze the rosters, as Seattle then gets to talk to free agents, make their selections, and eventually, we’ll find out who those players are. This is the timeline, stolen from some blog site somewhere:
Saturday: At 3 p.m. the Expansion Draft trade and waiver freeze begins. No NHL SPCs can be signed in this period except by Seattle in relation to the draft. All other teams must live with their roster as it exists during the freeze. Seattle is able to sign pending UFAs and RFAs to SPCs (see below) and also to make trades with teams that will be finalized by the league when the freeze is lifted. But two other teams cannot make side deals, nor can they re-sign their own UFAs or RFAs during this period.
Saturday: By 5 p.m., teams must submit protection lists for the Expansion Draft to the league.
Sunday: The NHL must approve and distribute the protection lists to all NHL teams by 10 a.m. They will likely be made public at about that time. At that time Seattle may begin interviewing UFAs and RFAs who are available for selection (on the exposure list), and they may sign them to contracts if they reach agreement. That signing counts as their selection from that team. This might need to be pointed out: they cannot talk to any Vegas free agents.
For example: if Seattle were to sign Frederik Andersen to a contract in this period, he would become their selection from the Toronto Maple Leafs. They may only speak to players who are exposed, not anyone on a protection list. And by default, they can only sign one player per team.
Wednesday, July 21: Seattle must submit their Expansion Draft choices to the NHL by 10 a.m. They must also submit any SPCs for signed players, and the distribution of the list of choices to the public will take place by 8 p.m.
Yes, on ESPN2 in the U.S., and on Sportsnet & TVA Sports in Canada. https://t.co/G08woTpM7C— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) July 14, 2021
Thursday, July 22: The trade and waiver freeze and signing moratorium are lifted at 1 p.m.
Once the freeze is lifted, all the teams are operating under the same rules and will proceed to the entry draft portion of this July offseason on July 23.
It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key.
While you’re frozen, and waiting for the Expansion Draft lists to be made public, here’s some Mock (Entry) Draft reading for you:
I think SBNation headline writers could use this: