2018–19 NHL season

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2018–19 NHL season
LeagueNational Hockey League
SportIce hockey
DurationOctober 3, 2018 – June 2019
Number of games82
Number of teams31
Draft
Top draft pickRasmus Dahlin
Picked byBuffalo Sabres
Regular season
Playoffs
Stanley Cup
NHL seasons

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

League business[edit]

Collective Bargaining Agreement[edit]

The current collective bargaining agreement (CBA) is in its seventh season. The NHL can choose 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[edit]

On June 21, 2018, 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[edit]

No major rule changes have been implemented this season.

On-ice ads in the rink corners[edit]

After a trial during the 2018 All-Star Game and China games, the NHL began to allow teams to sell on-ice advertising placements in the corners of the rink. NHL chief revenue officer Keith Wachtel estimated that these new placements could provide up to $10 million in additional revenue to teams per-season. During the playoffs, these advertising areas will be controlled by the league.[2][3]

Sports betting[edit]

On October 29, 2018, it was announced that MGM Resorts International would become the NHL's "official sports wagering partner" in the United States. This deal includes direct access to new forms of internal statistics data, as well as brand licensing agreements in relation to its sportsbooks, and came in the wake of a court ruling earlier in the year which declared the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (a U.S. law that forbade the legalization of sports betting outside of Nevada and other exempted states) to be unconstitutional.[4]

Media rights[edit]

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 Television and Rogers Communications struck an agreement to renew its sublicensing agreement for 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.[5] Rogers announced that long-time commentator Bob Cole will retire from Hockey Night after calling a limited schedule of 10 games.[6]

Three teams have shifted their radio broadcast rights exclusively to internet radio, all of which are in heavily crowded large media markets with multiple sports teams seeking a limited number of radio outlets. The Los Angeles Kings "Audio Network" will now be exclusively carried on iHeartRadio.[7][8] The New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders have a broadcast agreement with Entercom for the New York City market that will see only a limited number of games broadcast on their flagship sports station, WFAN, with the rest being carried on the company's Radio.com platform (the university radio station WRHU remains the Islanders' radio flagship). WFAN had already carried only a limited number of games from those teams in recent seasons, previously pawning off the remainder on other non-sports stations such as WNYM.[9]

In an effort to expand the league's television audience in Europe, the NHL began to schedule a "European Game of the Week" broadcast during the season for its European rightsholders. The initiative launched with an NHL Global Series game in Gothenburg, Sweden on October 6, 2018. Fifty other weekend games were also scheduled within the afternoon window so they could air live during the primetime hours in Europe.[10][11][12]

Draft[edit]

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[edit]

Two preseason games were played in China.[13] The Calgary Flames and Boston Bruins played one game (Calgary as home team) at the Shenzhen Universiade Sports Center in Shenzhen on September 15, 2018, and played another (Boston as home team) at Cadillac Arena in Beijing on September 19, 2018.[14]

Preseason games in Europe[edit]

Two preseason games were played in Europe.[15] The New Jersey Devils played against SC Bern at PostFinance Arena in Bern, Switzerland, on October 1, 2018.[16] The Edmonton Oilers played against Kölner Haie at Lanxess Arena in Cologne, Germany, on October 3, 2018.[17]

Coaching changes[edit]

Coaching changes
Off-season
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.[18] On April 23, Peters was named the Flames' new head coach.[19] 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.[20] 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.[21]
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.[22] On May 4, Montgomery was named the Stars' new head coach.[23] He previously coached the Denver Pioneers with whom he won 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.[24] 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.[25]
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.[26] On May 23, Quinn was named the Rangers' new head coach.[27] 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.[28] In four seasons under Trotz, the Capitals went 205–89–34, won two Presidents' Trophies and won the 2018 Stanley Cup Finals.[29] On June 29, Reirden was named head coach by the Capitals.[30] Reirden, in his first NHL head coach position, had been an assistant with the Capitals for all four seasons under Trotz.
In-season
Team Outgoing coach Incoming coach Story / Accomplishments
Chicago Blackhawks Joel Quenneville Jeremy Colliton Quenneville was fired on November 6, 2018, after starting the season 6–6–3.[31] Quenneville has been the head coach of the team since 2008 and guided them to three Stanley Cups in 2010, 2013 and 2015, while also accumulating an overall record of 797–452–249 with the team. Jeremy Colliton, the head coach for the Rockford IceHogs, succeeded Quenneville as head coach of the Blackhawks.[31]
Los Angeles Kings John Stevens Willie Desjardins* Stevens was fired on November 4, 2018, after starting the season 4–8–1.[32] Under his only season as head coach of the Kings, Stevens led the team to a 45–29–8 record and a wild card playoff berth in 2017–18. Former Vancouver Canucks head coach Desjardins was named the interim head coach.[33]

(*) Indicates interim.

Front office changes[edit]

General managers
Off-season
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.[34][35]
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' general manager.[24]
Tampa Bay Lightning Steve Yzerman Julien BriseBois Yzerman resigned on September 11, but remained with the Lightning in an advisory role for the last year of his contract. He was replaced by the Lightning's assistant general manager Julien BriseBois who had also served as the organization's AHL affiliate general manager since 2010. Under BriseBois, the Norfolk Admirals and Syracuse Crunch appeared in three Calder Cup finals and won one over his eight seasons.[36]
Team presidents
Off-season
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.[37]

Arena changes[edit]

Regular season[edit]

The regular season began 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.[41][42]

International games[edit]

Three regular season games, branded as the NHL Global Series, will be played in Europe.[43] The Edmonton Oilers and New Jersey Devils played at the Scandinavium in Gothenburg, Sweden, on October 6, 2018. The Florida Panthers and Winnipeg Jets played two games at Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland, on November 1 and 2, 2018.[15]

Outdoor games[edit]

All–Star Game[edit]

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.[46][47]

Standings[edit]

Top 3 (Metropolitan Division)
Pos Team GP W L OTL ROW GF GA GD Pts
1 Columbus Blue Jackets 20 12 6 2 12 69 63 +6 26
2 New York Islanders 18 10 6 2 9 61 49 +12 22
3 New York Rangers 20 10 8 2 6 61 64 −3 22
Top 3 (Atlantic Division)
Pos Team GP W L OTL ROW GF GA GD Pts
1 Tampa Bay Lightning 20 14 5 1 13 74 58 +16 29
2 Toronto Maple Leafs 20 14 6 0 14 70 51 +19 28
3 Buffalo Sabres 20 12 6 2 10 60 56 +4 26
Eastern Conference Wild Card
Pos Div Team GP W L OTL ROW GF GA GD Pts
1 AT Boston Bruins 20 11 6 3 11 58 49 +9 25
2 AT Montreal Canadiens 20 11 6 3 9 66 65 +1 25
3 ME Washington Capitals 19 9 7 3 8 63 63 0 21
4 AT Ottawa Senators 20 9 8 3 9 70 81 −11 21
5 ME Philadelphia Flyers 20 9 9 2 8 63 71 −8 20
6 AT Detroit Red Wings 20 9 9 2 7 57 65 −8 20
7 ME Carolina Hurricanes 19 8 8 3 7 51 58 −7 19
8 ME New Jersey Devils 18 8 8 2 8 54 59 −5 18
9 AT Florida Panthers 17 7 7 3 6 54 57 −3 17
10 ME Pittsburgh Penguins 18 7 8 3 7 60 61 −1 17
Updated to game(s) played on November 17, 2018. Source: National Hockey League


Top 3 (Central Division)
Pos Team GP W L OTL ROW GF GA GD Pts
1 Nashville Predators 20 14 5 1 14 67 47 +20 29
2 Minnesota Wild 20 12 6 2 12 64 54 +10 26
3 Winnipeg Jets 18 11 5 2 11 55 45 +10 24
Top 3 (Pacific Division)
Pos Team GP W L OTL ROW GF GA GD Pts
1 San Jose Sharks 21 11 7 3 11 68 64 +4 25
2 Calgary Flames 20 11 8 1 11 62 61 +1 23
3 Vancouver Canucks 22 10 10 2 9 67 78 −11 22
Western Conference Wild Card
Pos Div Team GP W L OTL ROW GF GA GD Pts
1 CE Dallas Stars 19 10 7 2 10 52 50 +2 22
2 CE Colorado Avalanche 19 9 6 4 9 67 56 +11 22
3 PA Anaheim Ducks 21 8 9 4 6 45 61 −16 20
4 PA Edmonton Oilers 19 9 9 1 9 54 60 −6 19
5 PA Arizona Coyotes 19 9 9 1 8 49 48 +1 19
6 CE Chicago Blackhawks 20 7 8 5 7 53 69 −16 19
7 CE St. Louis Blues 18 7 8 3 7 56 57 −1 17
8 PA Vegas Golden Knights 20 8 11 1 7 50 58 −8 17
9 PA Los Angeles Kings 19 6 12 1 5 39 61 −22 13
Updated to game(s) played on November 17, 2018. Source: National Hockey League

Tie Breakers:
1. Fewer number of games played
2. Greater Regulation + OT Wins (ROW)
3. Greatest number of points earned in head-to-head play (If teams played an unequal # of head-to-head games, the result of the first game on the home ice of the team with the extra home game is discarded.)
4. Greater Goal differential

Statistics[edit]

Scoring leaders[edit]

The following players led the league in regular season points at the conclusion of games played on November 17, 2018.[48]

Player Team GP G A Pts +/– PIM
Mikko Rantanen Colorado Avalanche 19 7 22 29 +10 16
Connor McDavid Edmonton Oilers 19 11 16 27 +2 4
Nathan MacKinnon Colorado Avalanche 19 12 14 26 +6 12
Patrice Bergeron Boston Bruins 19 9 17 26 +3 10
Mitch Marner Toronto Maple Leafs 20 6 20 26 +7 8
David Pastrnak Boston Bruins 20 17 8 25 +3 8
Morgan Rielly Toronto Maple Leafs 20 9 16 25 +10 4
Evgeni Malkin Pittsburgh Penguins 18 7 18 25 –1 32
Brayden Point Tampa Bay Lightning 20 14 10 24 +5 12
Max Domi Montreal Canadiens 20 10 14 24 +4 16

Leading goaltenders[edit]

The following goaltenders led the league in regular season goals against average at the conclusion of games played on November 17, 2018, while playing at least 600 minutes.[49]

Player Team GP TOI W L OTL GA SO SV% GAA
Pekka Rinne Nashville Predators 11 648:19 7 2 1 18 2 .943 1.67
Jaroslav Halak Boston Bruins 13 725:58 7 2 2 25 2 .935 2.07
Frederik Andersen Toronto Maple Leafs 16 950:06 11 5 0 33 1 .934 2.08
Andrei Vasilevskiy Tampa Bay Lightning 13 784:22 9 3 1 30 1 .927 2.29
Semyon Varlamov Colorado Avalanche 13 776:01 6 5 2 30 0 .926 2.32
Jack Campbell Los Angeles Kings 13 693:50 5 7 0 27 1 .923 2.33
Devan Dubnyk Minnesota Wild 16 965:22 9 5 2 38 0 .925 2.36
Ben Bishop Dallas Stars 13 774:42 7 5 1 31 2 .920 2.40
Carter Hutton Buffalo Sabres 15 858:42 8 6 1 36 0 .919 2.52
John Gibson Anaheim Ducks 17 988:07 6 7 4 42 1 .928 2.55

Milestones[edit]

First games[edit]

The following is a list of notable players who played their first NHL game during the 2018–19 season, listed with their first team.

Player Team Notability
Rasmus Dahlin Buffalo Sabres First overall pick in the 2018 Draft

Last games[edit]

Player Team Notability
Tomas Plekanec[50] Montreal Canadiens Over 1,000 career games played
Paul Martin San Jose Sharks

Major milestones reached[edit]

  • On October 3, 2018, Montreal Canadiens forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi became the first player born in the 2000s to play in the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada.[51]
  • On October 3, 2018, Washington Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom scored his 800th point.[52]
  • On October 6, 2018, Dallas Stars forward Jamie Benn scored his 600th point.[53]
  • On October 10, 2018, Washington Capitals defenceman Matt Niskanen scored his 300th point.[54]
  • On October 13, 2018, Boston Bruins forward David Krejci recorded his 400th assist.[55]
  • On October 13, 2018, Chicago Blackhawks defenceman Duncan Keith played his 1,000th NHL game,[56] becoming the 323rd player to reach the mark.[57]
  • On October 13, 2018, Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews became the fifth player, joining Bobby Hull (1965–66), Mike Bossy (1984–85), Dino Ciccarelli (1986–87) and Mario Lemieux (1988–89), to score 10 goals in the first six games of the season.[58]
  • On October 14, 2018, San Jose Sharks forward Joe Pavelski scored his 700th point.[59]
  • On October 15, 2018, Montreal Canadiens forward Tomas Plekanec played his 1,000th NHL game,[60] becoming the 324th player to reach the mark.[61]
  • On October 16, 2018, Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid broke his first NHL record, by contributing to, either by scoring or assisting on all of the first nine goals scored by his team in the regular season. The record was previously held by Adam Oates, who contributed to the first seven goals scored by the Detroit Red Wings in 1986–87.[62]
  • On October 19, 2018, Minnesota Wild forward Eric Staal played his 1,100th NHL game.[63]
  • On October 19, 2018, Minnesota Wild defenceman Ryan Suter scored his 500th point.[63]
  • On October 20, 2018, Buffalo Sabres forward Jason Pominville scored his 700th point.[64]
  • On October 21, 2018, Calgary Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau scored his 300th point.[65]
  • On October 22, 2018, Washington Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom recorded his 600th assist.[66]
  • On October 25, 2018, Minnesota Wild defenceman Ryan Suter played his 1,000th NHL game, becoming the 325th player to reach the mark.[67]
  • On October 26, 2018, Winnipeg Jets defenceman Dustin Byfuglien scored his 500th point.[68]
  • On October 27, 2018, St. Louis Blues defenceman Jay Bouwmeester scored his 400th point.[69]
  • On October 30, 2018, Dallas Stars forward Jason Spezza played his 1,000th NHL game,[70] becoming the 326th player to reach the mark.[71]
  • On October 30, 2018, Tampa Bay Lightning forward J. T. Miller scored his 200th point.[72]
  • On November 1, 2018, Buffalo Sabres forward Jason Pominville played his 1,000th NHL game,[73] becoming the 327th player to reach the mark.[74]
  • On November 1, 2018, Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Ron Hainsey played his 1,000th NHL game,[75] becoming the 328th player to reach the mark.[76]
  • On November 3, 2018, Chicago Blackhawks forward Jonathan Toews scored his 300th goal.[77]
  • On November 3, 2018, Minnesota Wild forward Eric Staal scored his 400th goal.[78]
  • On November 3, 2018, New York Islanders defenceman Johnny Boychuk played his 600th NHL game.[79]
  • On November 4, 2018, Anaheim Ducks forward Adam Henrique scored his 300th point.[80]
  • On November 4, 2018, Columbus Blue Jackets defenceman Seth Jones played his 400th NHL game.[81]
  • On November 8, 2018, Arizona Coyotes defenceman Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored his 300th point.[82]
  • On November 8, 2018, Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise scored his 700th point.[83]
  • On November 8, 2018, San Jose Sharks forward Joe Thornton played his 1,500th NHL game, becoming the 19th player to reach that mark.[84]
  • On November 9, 2018, Toronto Maple Leafs forward Patrick Marleau recorded his 600th assist.[85]
  • On November 9, 2018, Winnipeg Jets forward Blake Wheeler recorded his 400th assist.[86]
  • On November 10, 2018, Columbus Blue Jackets forward Alexander Wennberg played his 300th NHL game.[87]
  • On November 11, 2018, Calgary Flames forward Sean Monahan scored his 300th point.[88]
  • On November 11, 2018, San Jose Sharks forward Logan Couture played his 600th NHL game.[89]
  • On November 13, 2018, Florida Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau played his 400th NHL game.[90]
  • On November 13, 2018, Nashville Predators defenceman P. K. Subban played his 600th NHL game.[91]
  • On November 13, 2018, New Jersey Devils forward Travis Zajac recored his 300th assist.[92]
  • On November 13, 2018, Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin played his 800th NHL game.[93]
  • On November 13, 2018, San Jose Sharks defenceman Erik Karlsson recorded his 400th assist.[94]
  • On November 13, 2018, San Jose Sharks forward Joe Thornton scored his 400th goal.[94]
  • On November 13, 2018, Washington Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov recorded his 200th assist.[citation needed]
  • On November 15, 2018, New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider played his 400th NHL game.
  • On November 16, 2018, Buffalo Sabres forward Jeff Skinner scored his 400th point.[95]
  • On November 17, 2018, Los Angeles Kings defenceman Dion Phaneuf played his 1,000th NHL game, becoming the 329th player to reach the mark.
  • On November 17, 2018, Philadelphia Flyers forwards Claude Giroux scored his 700th point.
  • On November 17, 2018, Ottawa Senators forward Matt Duchene scored his 500th point.
  • On November 18, 2018, Dallas Stars forward Jason Spezza scored his 900th point.
  • On November 18, 2018, Dallas Stars forward Alexander Radulov scored his 100th NHL goal.

Uniforms[edit]

  • 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.[96]
  • The Arizona Coyotes will wear the "Kachina" jersey as the team's new third uniform. They previously used this design for road games from 1996 to 2003.[97]
  • The Calgary Flames will wear their 2009–2013 and 2016–17 third jersey, which is a throwback to their red jersey used from 1980 to 1994.[98]
  • The Carolina Hurricanes will wear a new black third jersey, which was inspired by the third uniform used from 2008 to 2017.[99] Additionally, the team announced that they will wear a heritage uniform on two occasions, which was inspired by the jerseys worn by their predecessor, the Hartford Whalers, from 1985 to 1989 and during the 1990–91 season.[100]
  • The Colorado Avalanche will wear a new third jersey, which was inspired by the third uniform used during the 2015–16 season.[101]
  • The Columbus Blue Jackets will wear a third jersey, which was worn from 2010 to 2017.[102]
  • The Edmonton Oilers will wear their 2010–2017 home jerseys as their alternate uniform this season dubbed the “retro jersey”. It will be used four times this season.[103]
  • The Los Angeles Kings will wear silver third jerseys, previously worn during the 2016–17 season for their 50th anniversary, with gold accents being changed to silver.[104]
  • 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.[105]
  • The New York Islanders will wear new blue third jerseys, partially inspired by their third jersey from the 2014–15 season.[106][107]
  • The Ottawa Senators will wear red third jerseys, which were worn during the NHL 100 Classic.
  • The Philadelphia Flyers will wear black third jerseys, which were worn in the 2017 Stadium Series.[108][109]
  • The Pittsburgh Penguins will wear third jerseys inspired by the uniforms worn by the team in the 1980s and during the 2017 Stadium Series.[110]
  • The San Jose Sharks will wear new black third jerseys, dubbed the "Stealth" jersey, during select home games.[111]
  • The St. Louis Blues will wear third jerseys, which are based on the uniforms worn during the 2017 Winter Classic.[112]
  • The Washington Capitals will wear third jerseys, which are based on the uniforms worn from 1974 to 1995.[113]
  • The Winnipeg Jets will wear a new third jersey inspired by the uniforms worn by the original Winnipeg Jets from 1990 to 1996.[114]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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