The start of free agency in the NFL is signified by a lot of movement.
The Detroit Lions signed running back Reggie Bush, the Baltimore Ravens signed Chris Canty and the Chicago Bears signed Martellus Bennett.
But when a contract runs out in the NFL, a team has the ability to designate a potential free agent as a franchise player.
Once a player receives that designation, his original team can be assured of keeping him.
If a player receives a non-exclusive franchise designation, his team can match any offer he receives from a competitor (source: ESPN.com).
If a player receives an exclusive franchise designation, no other team can even make him an offer.
The NHL does not have a franchise player designation in its Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NHL Players' Association.
If it did, it would certainly change the free-agent landscape and it would bring several positives and negatives with it.