Two months from now, the new-look Vancouver Canucks will be wrapping up their brief training camp and preparing for an eight-game preseason schedule.
Not surprisingly, we're in a bit of a hockey lull right now so today, I'll lay out the key dates that'll get us from here to the beginning of the 2019-20 regular season.
July 15: Last day for restricted free agents to accept their qualifying offers
The Canucks have just two remaining unsigned RFAs.
NHL.com correspondent Jessi Pierce caught up with Boeser on the first night of Da Beauty League last Wednesday. ""I feel confident we're going to get the deal done and everything's going to work out," he said
. "I love Vancouver. The organization, the city, the fans, everything's great there, and I want to be there for a long time."
Here's the evidence—Boeser was on the ice for Week 1!
Apparently July 15 is also an important date in the Loui Eriksson saga.
I hadn't realized this—I thought signing bonuses were all paid on July 1.
Once Eriksson's bonus is paid, that changes the landscape regarding a potential trade. With a $6 million cap hit but a smaller real-money cash outlay required, Eriksson could be an attractive player for a budget team that's looking to reach the salary-cap floor while still skimping on actual spending. Ottawa, perhaps?
FYI — it looks like sending Eriksson to Europe would only result in a cap savings of just over $1 million per season for Vancouver.
Some players' CapFriendly pages indicate European assignment clauses—Jonathan Dahlen
, for instance. But the Canucks' Petrus Palmu
was also re-assigned to Europe partway through last season—and he doesn't have an assignment clause noted on his page.
It's rare to see NHL contracts terminated, but it does happen from time to time. The Buffalo Sabres terminated Patrik Berglund last season after he walked away from the team but so far, Eriksson's agent has given no indication that his client would be considering a similar move.
July 20 - August 4: arbitration hearings
Settlements for the 40 players who filed for arbitration are coming quickly According to the NHLPA Schedule
, eight settlements have already been made, including Jordan Binnington's two-year, $8.8 million deal with the St. Louis Blues.
As of Monday morning, the first players on the docket who have not yet settled will be Brock McGinn of the Carolina Hurricanes on July 20 and Andrew Copp of the Winnipeg Jets on July 21.
No Canucks players have filed for arbitration.
July 26 - August 3: World Junior Summer Showcase in Plymouth, Michigan
All the team rosters are now up in one handy location on the USA Hockey
website for the World Junior Summer Showcase—the tune-up for the World Junior Championship that will feature teams from Canada, the U.S., Finland and Sweden.
Four Canucks prospects will be taking part—2018 second-rounder Jett Woo and 2019 fifth-rounder Carson Focht for Canada, 2019 second-rounder Nils Hoglander for Sweden and 2018 fifth-rounder Toni Utunen for Finland.
August 5-10: Hlinka Gretzky Cup in Czech Republic
The J.T. Miller trade is going to cast a strange shadow over prospect watching for Canucks fans this year. With some chatter that the 2020 draft class is going to be especially strong, a good season by the Canucks will have them sitting out the first round since their top pick will go to Tampa Bay if they make the playoffs. If they miss, Jim Benning's bold offseason moves will have failed to deliver the desired results. If that happens, Benning may not even be in charge anymore when the Canucks make their lottery pick in Montreal next June.
September 1: KHL regular season begins
In addition to keeping an eye on Nikita Tryamkin with Automobilist, Canucks fans can track 2019 first-round draft pick Vasily Podkolzin with the powerhouse SKA St. Petersburg team.
September 1 is also the deadline for the NHLPA members to announce whether or not they'll be exercising their option to re-open the CBA in one year. If they don't, the owners will get their opportunity to do so two weeks later, on September 15.
If either side exercises the re-opener, there will be a one-year negotiating window available before the current CBA expires on September 15, 2020. If the two sides can't reach an agreement on a new deal by that date, we'd have yet another work stoppage.
If we get to September 16 without either side triggering the re-opener, then we'll have labour peace until the current deal expires on September 15, 2022.
September 13-15: Canucks training camp in Victoria
The Canucks are not participating in a Young Stars/Prospects event this year, so it's going to be a long, dry month without hockey until training camp opens. This year, camp is being held at Save On Foods Memorial Centre in downtown Victoria, with on-ice sessions open to the public.
Preseason games will be played in a number of different locations:
September 16: Vancouver vs. Calgary in split-squad games in both Victoria and Calgary
September 17: Vancouver vs. Edmonton at Rogers Arena
September 19: Vancouver vs. Edmonton at Rogers Place in Edmonton
September 21: Vancouver vs. Los Angeles in Salt Lake City
September 23: Vancouver vs. Ottawa in Abbotsford
September 25: Vancouver vs. Ottawa at Rogers Arena
September 26: Vancouver vs. Arizona at Rogers Arena
The regular season kicks off on October 2, with the Canucks visiting the Oilers in Edmonton. They'll also visit the Flames in Calgary on October 5 before their home opener against the Kings on Wednesday, October 9.
Stay tuned for a more detailed breakdown of the regular-season schedule, coming soon!