Plotting Out Your Hockey Summer: A Timeline Taking You to October

(Credit: Logan Foust/Texas Stars)

As the curtain closes on the 2023-24 hockey season at all levels, it's time to take a look at the major milestones that will get us back to opening night in Cedar Park. Dates are less firm than previous years given that the Stars do not have a preseason game in Cedar Park. That means training camp has not been confirmed quite yet.

June 28-29 -- Draft in Las Vegas

Dallas only has three picks in this year's draft as of this writing but could always add more. Their first pick is at #29.

June 30 at 5 PM ET -- Deadline for Qualifying Offers

Any restricted free agents must received qualifying offers by June 30th or they become unrestricted.

Based on the list published here earlier this week, Texas will have a few players looking for an offer by June 30th: F Oskar Bäck, F Matej Blümel, G Matt Murray and F Emilio Pettersen.

Jim Nill's usual tendency is to hoard assets and qualifying almost everyone. I think everyone here is qualified regardless of that tendency, however.

July 1 -- Opening of Free Agency

The big deals on Day 1 will not directly affect Texas. Usually, AHL-destined players are signed in the following days. Riley Barber, for example, was signed on July 14, 2022. Texas has a raft of unrestricted free agents, including D Gavin Bayreuther, F Nick Caamano, F Fredrik Karlström, D Alex Petrovic, D Derrick Pouliot, F Scott Reedy and D Jerad Rosburg.

July 1-4 -- Development Camp in Frisco

New draft picks from 2024 week along with some of the younger prospects will spend a few days in Frisco with the Dallas coaching staff. Some members of the Texas staff will also be in attendance to get started building relationships for their future careers.

All sessions will be open to the public. There will also be a skills competition and mini tournament from 10:00-11:30 AM on Thursday, July 4.

Mid-September -- Traverse City Tournament

The dates for the Traverse City tournament have not yet been announced, but we can expect a mid-September date for those games featuring many of the players from development camp as well as a few more seasoned players who skated with Texas last season. Typically, the Texas coaching staff leads this group.

It's sort of a rough state of affairs for the tournament, which used to feature half a dozen teams. Now, the Stars are playing just Detroit a few times before heading back for training camp.

September 18-21 -- Training Camp in Frisco, TX

It hasn't been officially announced, but I don't see any reason why Dallas would not hold training camp in Cedar Park yet again. There won't be a preseason game this year (and if there were, it couldn't be with the Arizona Coyotes).

If it's in central Texas, it's a great opportunity to see the team as most everything on the ice is open to the public.

Unfortunately for Texas Stars fans, the Dallas Stars announced today that the team will hold training camp in Frisco, not Cedar Park.

End of camp until ~October 11 -- NHL preseason and AHL training camp

These dates are still TBD. I would expect AHL training camp to be Sept 30-Oct 3, approximately, leading up to where the Stars would have pre-season games, if they were in a geographical location to do so.

I would estimate a season start of October 11, based on previous seasons and the already released ECHL schedule, which usually starts a week after the AHL.