UPDATE: On Sunday, the NHL announced that the Board of Governors has approved the agreement between the league and NHLPA for a 56-game 2020-21 season. Full details here.
Following the agreement on a tentative deal between the NHL and NHLPA for a 56-game season, Sportsnet can confirm the following key dates should the deal be ratified:
• Trade deadline: April 12
• Date for teams to submit protected lists: July 17
• Expansion draft: July 21
• Entry Draft: July 23-24
• Free agency: July 28
Additionally, no-movement clauses in contracts have been extended through July due to the Seattle expansion draft.
In the more immediate future, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reports players on the seven non-playoff teams from the 2019-20 season — Detroit, Ottawa, New Jersey, Buffalo, Anaheim, Los Angeles and San Jose — will have until Dec. 24 to decide whether they will opt-out of the season or attend training camp, which starts on Dec. 31. The rest of the players have until Dec. 27 to decide whether to opt-out of the season.
As Friedman reported Friday, teams will have the option to "toll" the contract year of a player who opts out of the season — meaning it's up to the team to decide whether that player still owes them that year of play or not.
The new deadline to sign restricted free agents in order for them to be eligible to play in the 2020-21 season is Feb. 11. Players on one-year deals can sign extensions starting March 12.