Important NHL dates

Updated: March 5, 2017, 8:04 PM ET

Important dates in the NHL and the world of hockey:
All times Eastern

March 6-8, 2017
General managers' meetings, Boca Raton, Fla.

April 8, 2017
Last day of regular season
Final regular-season game at Joe Louis Arena (New Jersey Devils at Detroit Red Wings)

April 12, 2017
Stanley Cup playoffs begin

April tbd, 2017
Draft lottery

May 5-21, 2017
IIHF World Championship, Cologne, Germany/Paris, France

May 18-28, 2017
CHL Memorial Cup, Windsor, Ontario

May 28-June 3, 2017
Draft combine, Buffalo, N.Y.

June 14, 2017
Last possible day for Stanley Cup finals

June 17-21, 2017
Expansion draft

June 23-24, 2017
Draft, United Center, Chicago

June tbd, 2017
Awards ceremony, location tbd

July 1, 2017
Free agency begins, noon ET

July 5, 2017
Deadline for player-elected salary arbitration notification, 5 p.m. ET

July 6, 2017
Deadline for team-elected salary arbitration notification, 5 p.m. ET

July 20-Aug. 4, 2017
Salary arbitration hearings

Aug. 6, 2017
Deadline for salary arbitration decisions to be rendered