The 2016 Stanley Cup playoffs following the regular season began on April 13 and ended June 12 with the Pittsburgh Penguins winning their fourth Stanley Cup. None of the seven Canadian-based teams qualified for the playoffs; this was the second season in league history that the playoff field consisted of only United States-based teams. The only other time in league history that no Canadian teams qualified for the postseason was in 1970.
For the second time since 2000, the league ended a moratorium on potential expansion teams and began accepting bids for potential expansion teams that, if approved, would begin play in the 2017–18 season. During the 2015 offseason, two ownership groups offered bids: Quebecor, which planned on reviving the Quebec Nordiques at a new arena in Quebec City, Quebec, and Bill Foley's Black Knight Sports & Entertainment, which intended to place an expansion team at a new arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The league concluded the vetting process on September 4, 2015, with a final decision to follow in June 2016.