Canadians and Americans are getting ready for national holidays and the start of summer. But there won't be a lot of barbeques and parties among NHL front offices this weekend -- not with the start of free agency set for Sunday.
Dozens of players will become restricted or unrestricted free agents, eligible to sign with a new team at noon ET on July 1. For a lot of hockey fans, it's like Christmas in July, as they wait to see who their teams will sign to fill holes -- some of them left by players opting to join other teams.
Here are five things to keep in mind as we get ready for the start of free agency: