The 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs began on April 10, 2019, and the Stanley Cup Finals concluded on June 12, 2019, with the St. Louis Blues winning their first Stanley Cup in the Finals over the Boston Bruins in seven games.
On June 21, 2018, the National Hockey League Players' Association announced that the salary cap would be set at $79.5 million per team for the 2018–19 season.
After a trial during the 2018 All-Star Game and China games, the NHL began to allow teams to sell on-ice advertising placements in the corners of the rink. NHL chief revenue officer Keith Wachtel estimated that these new placements could provide up to $10 million in additional revenue to teams per season. During the playoffs, these advertising areas will be controlled by the league.
On October 29, 2018, it was announced that MGM Resorts International would become the NHL's "official sports wagering partner" in the United States. This deal includes direct access to new forms of internal statistics data, as well as brand licensing agreements in relation to its sportsbooks, and came in the wake of a court ruling earlier in the year which declared the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (a U.S. law that forbade the legalization of sports betting outside of Nevada and other exempted states) to be unconstitutional.
On December 4, 2018, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman officially announced that the league had approved an expansion team in Seattle, later christened the Seattle Kraken, which is planned to begin play in the 2021–22 season. To accommodate the addition in 2021, the new team will be placed in the Pacific Division, while the Arizona Coyotes will be moved to the Central Division.
This was the eighth season under the NHL's ten year U.S. rights deal with NBC Sports and fifth season of its twelve year Canadian rights deals with Sportsnet and TVA Sports.
On December 20, 2017, CBC Television and Rogers Communications struck an agreement to renew its sublicensing agreement for Hockey Night in Canada through the end of Rogers's current broadcast contract. The two sides had previously reached an agreement to extend its original four-year agreement by an additional year. Rogers announced the retirement of long-time commentator Bob Cole from Hockey Night, after calling a limited schedule of games.
Three teams shifted their radio broadcast rights exclusively to internet radio, all of which in heavily crowded large media markets with multiple sports teams seeking a limited number of radio outlets. The Los Angeles Kings "Audio Network" will now be exclusively carried on iHeartRadio. The New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders have a broadcast agreement with Entercom for the New York City market that will see only a limited number of games broadcast on their flagship sports station, WFAN, with the rest being carried on the company's Radio.com platform (the university radio station WRHU remains the Islanders' radio flagship). WFAN had already carried only a limited number of games from those teams in recent seasons, previously pawning off the remainder on other non-sports stations such as WNYM.
In an effort to expand the league's television audience in Europe, the NHL began to schedule more weekend afternoon games (the "European Game of the Week") so they could air live during the primetime hours. The initiative launched with an NHL Global Series game in Gothenburg, Sweden, on October 6, 2018.