2018–19 NHL season

2018–19 NHL season
League National Hockey League
Sport Ice hockey
Duration October 3, 2018 – June 2019
Number of games 82
Number of teams 31
Top draft pick Rasmus Dahlin
Picked by Buffalo Sabres
Regular season
Stanley Cup

The 2018–19 NHL season will be the 102nd season of operation (101st season of play) of the National Hockey League. 31 teams will be competing in an 82-game regular season. The regular season is scheduled to begin on October 3, 2018, and will end on April 6, 2019. The 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs will then begin a few days afterwards, with the Stanley Cup Finals held in late May to early June.

League business

Collective Bargaining Agreement

The current collective bargaining agreement (CBA) is in its seventh season. The NHL can chose to opt out of the CBA on September 1, 2019, or the NHLPA can choose to opt out of the CBA on September 19, 2019.

Salary cap

On December 9, 2017, the National Hockey League Players' Association announced that the salary cap would be set at $79.5 million per team for the 2018–19 season.[1]

Rule changes

No major rule changes have been implemented this season.

On ice ads in the rink corners

After testing them during the 2018 NHL China Games and the 2018 All-Star Game, starting this season all 31 NHL arenas will have new advertising spots on the ice in each of the four rink corners. The league estimates that during every game broadcast, each spot will have about at least 20 minutes of exposure, as well as appearances on highlight videos of goals and saves. Each team will be responsible for selling the new ad spaces on their respective rinks for preseason and regular season games, which could generate a total of up to eight figures of additional revenue for each club per season. The league will then take control of selling the new corner spots during the playoffs, aiming to attract global marketers due to the increased exposure of having every postseason game televised across Canada, the United States, and over 160 other countries.[2][3]

Media rights

This is the eighth season under the NHL's ten year U.S. rights deal with NBC Sports and fifth season of its twelve year Canadian rights deals with Sportsnet and TVA Sports.

On December 20, 2017, CBC Sports and Rogers Communications struck an agreement to renew Hockey Night in Canada through the end of Rogers's current broadcast contract. The two sides had previously reached an agreement to extend its original four-year agreement by an additional year.[4]


The 2018 NHL Entry Draft was held June 22 and 23, 2018. The Buffalo Sabres, by virtue of winning the draft lottery on April 28, held the first overall selection, using it to select defenseman Rasmus Dahlin.

Preseason games in China

Two preseason games will be played in China.[5] The Calgary Flames and Boston Bruins will play one game at the Shenzhen Universiade Sports Center in Shenzhen on September 15, 2018 and another game at Cadillac Arena in Beijing on September 19, 2018.[6]

Coaching changes

Coaching changes
Team 2017–18 coach 2018–19 coach Story / Accomplishments
Calgary Flames Glen Gulutzan Bill Peters Gulutzan was fired on April 17, following the Flames' failure to make the playoffs. In two seasons, the Flames went 82–68–14 under Gulutzan. The Flames made the playoffs in Gulutzan's first season with the team before missing out the following year.[7] On April 23, Peters was named the Flames' new head coach.[8] He had coached the Carolina Hurricanes the previous four seasons.
Carolina Hurricanes Bill Peters Rod Brind'Amour Peters resigned on April 20, following the Hurricanes' failure to make the playoffs. Under Peters the Hurricanes went 137–138–53 and missed the playoffs in all four seasons.[9] On May 8, Brind'Amour, who had spent the previous seven years as an assistant coach for the Hurricanes, was named the Hurricanes' new head coach.[10]
Dallas Stars Ken Hitchcock Jim Montgomery Hitchcock retired from coaching on April 13, following the Stars' failure to make the playoffs to become a consultant for the franchise. The Stars went 319–186–60–20 under Hitchcock, winning the Stanley Cup in 1999, going back the following season, and winning the Presidents' Trophy twice.[11] On May 4, Montgomery was named the Stars' new head coach.[12] He led the Denver Pioneers to win the 2017 NCAA championship.
New York Islanders Doug Weight Barry Trotz Weight was relieved of his duties by the Islanders on June 5, a few weeks after the hiring of Lou Lamoriello as the president of hockey operations for the Islanders. The Islanders went 59–49–14 under Weight in his one-and-a-half seasons as head coach, never making the playoffs. Weight would remain with the Islanders.[13] On June 21, Trotz was hired as head coach, and was previously the head coach of the Nashville Predators and Washington Capitals with whom he won the Stanley Cup in 2018.[14]
New York Rangers Alain Vigneault David Quinn Vigneault was fired by the New York Rangers on April 7, hours after the team's last regular season game after failing to make the playoffs for the first time in nearly a decade and the second time since the 2004–05 NHL lockout. The Rangers went 226–147–37 under Vigneault, going to the Finals in his first year as head coach and winning the Presidents' Trophy the following season.[15] On May 23, Quinn was named the Rangers' new head coach.[16] He previously served as the assistant coach for the Colorado Avalanche during the 2012–13 season.
Washington Capitals Barry Trotz Todd Reirden Trotz resigned on June 18 amid speculation of a contract dispute that neither he nor the Capitals confirmed.[17] In four seasons under Trotz, the Capitals went 205–89–34, won two Presidents' Trophies and won the 2018 Stanley Cup Finals.[18] On June 29, Reirden was named head coach by the Capitals.[19] Reirden, in his first NHL head coach position, had been an assistant with the Capitals for all four seasons under Trotz.

Front office changes

General managers
Team 2017–18 GM 2018–19 GM Story / Accomplishments
Minnesota Wild Chuck Fletcher Paul Fenton Fletcher was relieved of his duties by the Wild on April 23, shortly after their defeat in the first round of the playoffs. He had been the Wild's general manager since the start of the 2009–10 season. Fenton was hired as his replacement on May 21; he had previously held the same position with the American Hockey League's Milwaukee Admirals.[20] [21]
New York Islanders Garth Snow Lou Lamoriello Snow was relieved of his duties by the Islanders on June 5, a few weeks after the hiring of Lou Lamoriello as the president of hockey operations for the Islanders. He had been the Islanders' general manager since the start of the 2006–07 season. Lamoriello replaced Snow as the Islanders' new general manager.[22]
Team presidents
Team 2017–18 President 2018–19 President Story / Accomplishments
Buffalo Sabres Russ Brandon Kim Pegula Brandon, who served as team president while concurrently serving a similar position with the Buffalo Bills, resigned from both positions on May 1, 2018. He had spent three years as the Sabres' president. Pegula, the wife of owner Terrence Pegula, replaced Brandon in both positions, and became the only current female team president in the NHL.[23]

Arena changes

Regular season

The regular season will begin on October 3, 2018, and will end on April 6, 2019. Each team will receive a five-day "bye week", all of which will take place in mid-January. The regular season schedule was released on June 21.[27][28]

International games

Three regular season games, branded as the NHL Global Series, will be played in Europe.[29] The Edmonton Oilers will play against the New Jersey Devils at Scandinavium in Gothenburg, Sweden on October 6, 2018. The Florida Panthers and Winnipeg Jets will play two games at Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland on November 1 and 2, 2018.[30]

Outdoor games

All–Star Game

The 2019 National Hockey League All-Star Game will be held in San Jose, California, at SAP Center, home of the San Jose Sharks, on January 26, 2019, the first time it will be held on a Saturday after many years of the All-Star game being played on a Sunday.[33][34]


  • The Anaheim Ducks will wear a new third jersey inspired by the uniforms from their years as the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim from 1993 to 2006.[35]
  • The Arizona Coyotes will wear the "Kachina" uniform as the team's new third jerseys. They previously used this design for road games from 1996 to 2003.[36]
  • The Carolina Hurricanes will wear a new black third jersey, which was inspired by the third uniform used from 2008 to 2017.[37]
  • The New Jersey Devils will wear third jerseys for the first time in franchise history with new white throwback uniforms similar to those worn from 1982 to 1992.[38]
  • The Philadelphia Flyers will wear black third jerseys, which were worn in the 2017 Stadium Series.[39]
  • The St. Louis Blues will wear third jerseys, which are based on the uniforms worn during the 2017 Winter Classic.[40]

See also


  1. "NHL Revenues Salary Cap Projected To Rise In 2018–19/c-293815570". NHL.com. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  2. Thomas, Ian (April 23, 2018). "NHL opens new sponsor inventory in the ice". Sports Business Daily. Retrieved August 31, 2018.
  3. White, Adam (May 8, 2018). "Why the NHL Decided to Open Up More Sponsorship Inventory on the Ice". Front Office Sports. Retrieved August 31, 2018.
  4. "Rogers and CBC Sign New 7 Year Deal For Hockey Night In Canada". Sportsnet.ca. Retrieved December 20, 2017.
  5. "Bruins, Flames will play in 2018 O.R.G. NHL China Games". NHL.com. May 2, 2018. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  6. "Boston Bruins, Calgary Flames to play two pre-season games in China". sportsnet.ca. May 2, 2018. Retrieved May 3, 2018. The Flames and Bruins will clash Sept. 15 in Shenzhen and Sept. 19 in Beijing.
  7. "FLAMES RELIEVE THREE COACHES OF DUTIES". NHL.com. April 17, 2018. Retrieved April 18, 2018.
  8. "FLAMES NAME BILL PETERS HEAD COACH". NHL.com. April 23, 2018. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
  9. Terry, Miles (April 20, 2018). "Bill Peters Resigns Position as Head Coach". NHL.com. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  10. Williams, Terrell (May 8, 2018). "Hurricanes Name Rod Brind'Amour as Head Coach". NHL.com. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  11. "Stars head coach Ken Hitchcock announces retirement". NHL.com. April 13, 2018. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  12. "Dallas Stars dip into college ranks to get their new head coach". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. May 4, 2018.
  13. "Islanders fire GM Garth Snow, head coach Doug Weight". ESPN. June 5, 2018.
  14. "Trotz Named Head Coach". NHL.com. June 21, 2018. Retrieved June 21, 2018.
  15. "Alain Vigneault Fired From Rangers". NYTimes.com. April 8, 2018. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
  16. "David Quinn Named Rangers Head Coach". NHL.com. May 23, 2018. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
  17. Gulitti, Tom (June 18, 2018). "Trotz, Capitals will know his worth soon enough". NHL.com. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
  18. Gulitti, Tom (June 18, 2018). "Trotz leaves as coach of Capitals". NHL.com. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
  19. "Capitals Name Todd Reirden Head Coach". NHL.com. June 29, 2018. Retrieved July 2, 2018.
  20. "Wild not renewing GM Chuck Fletcher's deal after quick playoff exit". CBC. April 23, 2018.
  21. "Wild Hire Predators Assistant Paul Fenton as New GM". Associated Press. May 21, 2018.
  22. "Islanders fire GM Garth Snow, head coach Doug Weight". ESPN. June 5, 2018.
  23. Graham, Tim (May 1, 2018). "Russ Brandon resigns from Bills, Sabres after internal investigation". The Buffalo News. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
  24. Compton, Brian (January 29, 2018). "Islanders to play 12 games at Nassau Coliseum in 2018-19". NHL.com. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  25. "Enterprise Awarded Naming Rights Of Blues Arena". Fox2Now.com. May 21, 2018. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  26. Krashinsky Robertson, Susan; Bradshaw, James; Gray, Jeff (August 29, 2017). "Toronto's Air Canada Centre to be renamed Scotiabank Arena in $800-million deal". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  27. "2018-19 NHL home openers". NHL.com. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  28. "2018-19 NHL schedule released". NHL.com. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  29. "NHL to play games in Sweden, Finland, China next season". NHL.com. January 28, 2018. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  30. "NHL announces 2018 Global Series dates, locations, ticket information". NHL.com. March 6, 2018. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  31. "Bruins To Play Blackhawks In 2019 Winter Classic At Notre Dame Stadium". November 18, 2017. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  32. "2019 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series Announced". November 19, 2017. Retrieved November 19, 2017.
  33. "NHL moves up All-Star skills competition, game in 2019". Associated Press. ESPN. April 9, 2018. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  34. Rosen, Dan (January 27, 2018). "2019 NHL All-Star Game to be held at San Jose". Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  35. "Ducks Unveil 2018-19 Third Jersey for 25th Anniversary Season". NHL.com. July 21, 2018. Retrieved July 23, 2018.
  36. Gretz, Adam (June 22, 2018). "Coyotes go retro, Hurricanes get new look with third jerseys". ProHockeyTalk. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  37. "Carolina Hurricanes unveil new third jersey for 2018-19 NHL season". Sportsnet.ca. June 22, 2018. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  38. Johnston, Mike (August 21, 2018). "New Jersey Devils unveil old-school alternate uniforms". sportsnet.ca. Retrieved August 26, 2018.
  39. Johnston, Mike (July 26, 2018). "Flyers reintroducing all-black third jerseys for 2018-19 season". sportsnet.ca. Retrieved August 26, 2018.
  40. Pinkert, Chris (August 27, 2018). "Blues pay tribute to team heritage with third jersey". NHL.com. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
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