The Riskiest Moves in 2014 NHL Free Agency So Far

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The Riskiest Moves in 2014 NHL Free Agency So Far
Jay LaPrete/Associated Press

In just one day on July 1, NHL general mangers handed out more than $500 million in new contracts to unrestricted free agents, according to Kevin Gibson of TSN research.

Thanks to a new five-day window when teams could meet with potential free agents before the signing period began, the action on the first day easily eclipsed the $340 million worth of Day 1 deals that Gibson reports were handed out in 2012-13.

By putting themselves on the open market and attracting the attention of multiple teams, players get the best chance of their career to maximize their earning power while also wielding some control over where they'd like to pay. Money's not the only motivator, but contracts signed on July 1 tend to go to highly-coveted players with options, who can bargain their way above the typical market rate.

Even with the shorter term limits mandated by the new collective bargaining agreement, teams continue to lock players into medium- and long-range deals of anywhere from four to seven years. In the past, we've seen plenty of these situations turn sour long before the contract's end date. Depending on the investment, even shorter deals have the potential to turn into anchors in a hurry.

Here are the six free agent signings that carry the highest degree of risk. The list is limited to one signing per team. 

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