NHL Key Summer Dates

By JD Lagrange – When your team is out of the playoffs, we are smack down the middle of a period where nothing happens. As fans, all we have to do is sit here and envy the fans of teams still battling for NHL supremacy, the Stanley Cup. Or we repeat the same old stuff on social media over and over again, like whom the Canadiens should select with their first pick at the Draft, until we’re blue in the face… as some do.

For that reason, for those whom, like me, don’t want to get into another “Draft Shane Wright or else…” type scenario (currently happening with Matvei Michkov), I have decided to list the off-season’s next few upcoming important dates.

They are:

June 4-10: NHL Scouting Combine

From Buffalo, NY this year.

Buyout period

Can start on the later of June 15 or 48 hours after the Playoffs end, and the buyout period ends June 30th at 5:00 pm Eastern, the day prior to the start of free agency.

June 26: NHL Awards

The Awards will be held in Nashville this year.

June 28-29: NHL Draft

From Nashville as well. The Canadiens are set to speak fifth at this year’s NHL Draft. They also own the Florida Panthers’ first round pick, which will be anywhere between 29-32, depending how far they make it in these playoffs.


Normally, Qualifying Offers to Restricted Free Agents (required by teams to retain their RFA rights) are due by the later of June 25 and the Draft. This year, because the draft is June 28/29 and free agency starts on Sat July 1, the Qualifying Offer deadline is June 30.

July 1st: Start of Free Agency

For a complete list of available Unrestricted and Restricted pending Free Agents, Capfriendly.com has a great tool which allows you to narrow down and sort your result in many different ways.

Get fresh air

In the meantime, do as I do. Spend less time on social media, particularly arguing with people who will do anything to convince you that they’re experts, and enjoy the Spring and Summer days. Get some sunshine, which is excellent for the morale and well-being. Spend time with your loved ones.

Remember that when arguing with a fool, make sure that the other person isn’t doing the same. Also, know that they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience, as Mark Twain once explained…

JD’s Only 2023 NHL Draft Rankings

By JD Lagrange – Admittedly, I am not a NHL Draft expert, far from there. In general, I choose to focus on Habs’ prospects when they’re closer to making it to the NHL. But with the Canadiens having the fifth overall pick, and the fact that I did pretty well a year ago (including the first overall pick), I decided to push my luck again. So I figured that I would see how I match up with the Draft experts around the NHL by publishing my very own Final and Only NHL Draft Rankings. In a few months or a few years, we can all laugh or cry about it together.

This time, however, I stopped at the top-20 as I have a feeling that the Canadiens will not be using the Florida Panthers’ pick to draft, but rather use it as an asset in a bigger trade, either to move up from number five, or for Pierre-Luc Dubois or another similar player… as Kent Hughes did almost a year ago when acquiring Kirby Dach.

The position, height and weight information is taken from Eliteprospects.com.

1Connor BedardC/RW5’10”185
2Adam FantilliC6’2″187
3Matvei MichkovRW5’10”148
4Leo CarlssonC/LW6’3″194
5Will SmithC6’0″172
6Zach BensonC/LW5’10”159
7Andrew CristallLW5’10”165
8Eduard SaleRW6’1″168
9Ryan LeonardC5’11”181
10Oliver MooreC5’11”176
11Colby BarlowLW6’1″187
12Dalibor DvorskyC/RW6’1″201
13Brayden YagerC6’0″165
14David ReinbacherD6’2″187
15Axel Sandin PellikkaD5’11”181
16Dmitri SimashevD6’4″201
17Nate DanielsonC6’1″185
18Gabe PerreaultRW5’11”165
19Samuel HonzekC6’4″185
20Calum RitchieC6’2″187

Don’t be surprised if Michkov drops drastically from this ranking and in spite of the nonsense displayed by some fans on social media, there is absolutely no guarantee that the Canadiens would select him if he slides to them at number five. As we have recently covered in details, there are just too many red flags and Montreal must thread very carefully with this one.

What does it look like to the self-proclaimed Draft experts out there on social media? Who knows. But the Canadiens will have a good player once again this year. Whether or not that player will be ready to step into the line-up comes October remains to be seen…