The 2022-23 NHL season, which was an exciting one, has officially ended, and the offseason has begun. Teams are now looking to make changes and improve their performance in the upcoming season with the goal of knocking off the Golden Knights, who were crowned the champions of the 2023 season after defeating the Panthers in the Stanley Cup Final.
The offseason is a time for teams to retool and prepare for the upcoming season, and there are several ways to do so. While the NHL Draft is the first order of business, it is not the only one. Free agency is also a crucial aspect of the offseason, and it is just around the corner. This is an opportunity for players to explore new opportunities, find a new home with a contender, or secure a lucrative contract.
Teams have already begun making moves early by re-signing their key players before they become free agents. Others are waiting for the free agency period to officially begin to scour the market for new talent. As always, this period promises to be an exciting and chaotic few weeks in the NHL.
Therefore, for fans who are eagerly waiting for the start of free agency, it is essential to keep an eye on the latest news and rumors. This will help you stay up-to-date on the latest signings, trades, and potential moves that could impact your favorite team. Get ready for an eventful and exciting offseason!
When does NHL free agency start?
- Date: Saturday, July 1
- Time: Noon ET
The much-awaited NHL free agency is just around the corner, set to begin on the first day of the 2023-24 NHL season, which is on Saturday, July 1st. Fans and players alike are excited to see which teams will make the big moves and snatch up the most coveted free agents.
Starting at exactly 12 p.m. ET, teams will be able to sign free agents for the upcoming season. However, before noon on July 1st, teams are allowed to discuss contract extensions with their own players. This is a crucial period for teams to evaluate their roster and strategize on their next moves, especially since this is the time when they can negotiate with players from other teams. It’s a time of great uncertainty and excitement, with fans eagerly anticipating the blockbuster deals that are sure to take place.
2023-24 projected cap space per team
As the NHL 2023 offseason approaches, the Anaheim Ducks seem to have a distinct advantage over their counterparts in terms of available cap space for the upcoming season. The Ducks are sitting atop the league with just under $40 million in cap space, giving them the flexibility to make some calculated signings and bolster their roster.
However, they are not the only team with a healthy amount of cap space at their disposal. The Chicago Blackhawks, New Jersey Devils, and Detroit Red Wings are also in a favorable financial position, with each team having more than $30 million in cap space for the 2023-24 campaign. This creates an interesting dynamic heading into the offseason, as these teams will have the flexibility to make moves and potentially shake up the league.
For reference, here is a breakdown of each team’s projected cap space for the upcoming season, according to Spotrac. It will be interesting to see how each team decides to utilize their cap space and make the most of their financial situation in order to build a competitive team for the upcoming season.
|Team||Projected cap space|
|New Jersey Devils||$34,282,500|
|Detroit Red Wings||$30,665,278|
|San Jose Sharks||$14,079,166|
|New York Rangers||$11,762,918|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||$9,143,551|
|St. Louis Blues||$7,506,667|
|Los Angeles Kings||$7,336,666|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||$5,854,168|
|New York Islanders||$5,336,667|
|Vegas Golden Knights||$3,462,517|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||$450,000|
Who are the top 2023 free agents?
As we approach the summer of 2023, it’s worth noting that the crop of free agents available this year is relatively weak, which may limit the options for teams looking to bolster their rosters. While there are certainly some high-profile names on the list, such as Patrick Kane, Ryan O’Reilly, and Vladimir Tarasenko, it’s important to remember that all of these players are on the wrong side of 30 years old.
This raises questions about their long-term potential and durability, and may give some teams pause when considering whether to pursue them. However, it’s also worth noting that there are some up-and-coming players who may not have the same name recognition as the veterans, but who could still prove to be valuable assets for teams in the years to come.
With that in mind, here is a full list of the top 30 unrestricted NHL free agents available this summer, which teams can use as a starting point as they begin to evaluate their options and plan for the future.