NHL Trade Rumors and Free Agency 2014: Live Updates from Around the League

Carol SchramFeatured ColumnistJuly 1, 2014

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The NHL did not disappoint during its free agency frenzy.

When the (figurative) bell sounded at noon ET, it was time for teams to sign big-name free agents with an eye towards improving in 2014-15.

The biggest early move came when the St. Louis Blues signed Paul Stastny away from the Colorado Avalanche, with an eye towards building more strength at the center position. Shortly after that signing, Ryan Miller made his move as the former Olympic goalie surprised some observers by signing with the Vancouver Canucks.

Thomas Vanek signed with the Minnesota Wild, a move that many expected when he rejected a contract extension from the New York Islanders earlier in the year.

By 8 p.m. ET, 86 players had signed free-agent contracts on Day 1 valued at nearly $500 million, according to CapGeek.com.

That's a huge spending spree, by any standard.

(Introduction written by Steve Silverman.)