The 2021 Stanley Cup Final between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Montreal Canadiens could end as soon as Wednesday night.
For the other 29 NHL teams, the offseason has already begun.
It's going to be a busier offseason than normal, and that's because the Seattle Kraken are entering the league as an expansion team. This means there will be an expansion draft, similar to the one in 2017 when the Vegas Golden Knights entered the league. The expansion draft will have an impact on the free agent and trade markets as teams try to find the best ways to protect their most valuable players.
Here are the important offseason dates for NHL fans to circle on their calendar.
July 17: This is the deadline for teams to submit their protected lists for the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft, where the Seattle Kraken will begin to build their roster.
July 21: The 2021 NHL Expansion Draft is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET on ESPN2.
July 23: The first round of the 2021 NHL Draft takes place on this Friday night. The Bruins own their first round pick (No. 20 overall) after not making a Round 1 selection in both 2018 and 2020.
July 24: Rounds two through seven of the 2021 NHL Draft are on Saturday. The Bruins traded their second-round pick to acquire Taylor Hall from the Sabres but they have a selection in every other round, including two in the seventh.
July 28: NHL free agency begins at noon ET. Players can sign contracts at this time. The Bruins have several unrestricted free agents to consider re-signing, including Hall, David Krejci, Mike Reilly and Tuukka Rask.
Aug. 2: The Bruins are bringing back their development camp for the entire week of Aug. 2 through Aug. 6 at Warrior Ice Arena. This camp did not happen last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.