With the Leafs ending their season before June again, attention turns to the offseason. We need to get ready for some hard decisions, trade rumours, free agent rumours, contract talks and all of that stuff that used to be more fun.

Today it begins with the draft lottery. The lottery show airs at 7 p.m. live from the NHL Network studios in New Jersey. It will be broadcast on Sportsnet and NBCSN during playoff coverage.

The Leafs don’t have a first-round pick at all, far less a lottery pick, so we don’t really need to dive deep on how this works, and the two-stage changes to the lottery. Sportsnet has the details.

Their list of odds is:

1. Buffalo Sabres: 16.6%
2.Anaheim Ducks: 12.1%
3. Seattle Kraken: 10.3%
4. New Jersey Devils: 10.3%
5. Columbus Blue Jackets: 8.5%
6. Detroit Red Wings: 7.6%
7. San Jose Sharks: 6.7%
8. Los Angeles Kings: 5.8%
9. Vancouver Canucks: 5.4%
10. Ottawa Senators: 4.5%
11. Arizona Coyotes: 3.1%
12. Chicago Blackhawks: 2.7%
13. Calgary Flames: 2.2%
14. Philadelphia Flyers: 1.8%
15. Dallas Stars: 1.4%
16. New York Rangers: 1.0%

If the Coyotes win the lottery, there is a redraw because they had to forfeit their pick, so while these odds look lower than normal because there is 16 teams, there isn’t 16 teams and the odds haven’t really changed. Clear? That’s just how the NHL does things.

June and July Dates

On Tuesday, June 1 the rights expired for a host of drafted prospects. The Maple Leafs did not have any expiring players, and the full list is here:

The only player rights that expire for the Leafs this summer is James, aka JD, Greenway on August 15.

Key Dates

June 15 is the usual start of the first buyout window and RFA arbitration rights. This late June activity will be delayed until after the Stanley Cup Final in early July.

June 30 marks the end of the contract year, and that applies to coaches and GMs generally as well. Many changes in front offices will happen right around this date.

July 13: Deadline for asking players to waive their no-move clause for the Expansion Draft.

July 15: Last possible day of the Stanley Cup Final.

24 hrs after the Stanley Cup Final: First buy-out period begins, and teams can elect salary arbitration on eligible RFAs before 5 p.m. (all times are New York time).

July 16: Last day to put a player on waivers prior to the Expansion Draft, and the deadline for players to agree to waive their no-move clauses.

July 17: 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.

July 17: By 5 p.m., teams must submit protections lists for the Expansion Draft.

July 18: The NHL must approve and distribute the protection lists to all NHL teams by 10 a.m. At that time Seattle may begin interviewing UFAs and RFAs who are available for selection.

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.

July 22: The trade and waiver freeze and signing moratorium are lifted at 1 p.m.

July 23 and 24: NHL Entry Draft

July 26: Deadline for Qualifying offers to RFAs.

July 27: RFAs can discuss interest from other teams, but cannot sign a new SPC or Offer Sheet until the official signing period opens.

July 27: First buy-out period ends at 5 p.m.

July 28: Free Agency Day begins with the signing period opening at noon.

August: RFA negotiation and arbitration takes place over this month and a second buy-out period occurs for some teams after arbitration ends. This is the period where the offseason will be compressed a little to allow next season to start close to its normal timeframe.

Other Events

We used to have a summer full of hockey action. The World Junior Summer Showcase, the various prospect tournaments and rookie camps all led into training camp. There never used to be a month without hockey.

Last year, the Leafs were invited to Traverse City, a tournament featuring a host of American NHL teams, where the prospects play in a much more serious way than what the Leafs, Senators and Canadiens have been doing lately. That tournament never happened, of course, but it might this year.

If it doesn’t, there almost has to be some kind of prospect activity for players who have been idle, some the entire year. We should expect both draft-eligible players and drafted prospects to be involved in something once the NHL season has ended for everyone.

There is still a strong chance that the Women’s World Championships will be held sometime in the next two months as well.

We will, of course, update you when we get confirmation of the plans for this summer.