The NHL's annual free-agent spending spree was a little disappointing this year, as very few top players reached the market. Players like Paul Stastny, Ryan Miller, Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen were among the most heavily compensated, and there was the predictable hue and cry about crazy contracts for middling players, a complaint that has become just as much a staple of free agency as the contracts themselves.
Sometimes, though, teams get exceptional value from free agents. The following slideshow looks at each team's "best" acquisition, by which we mean not only the best player but the best value for the money. In each case, we've considered where the player is at today and what he's done since joining his team as a UFA.
One additional note: For the purposes of this comparison, we're omitting free agents whose rights were originally acquired in trade; a player had to actually go to market to count here. That also includes draft-related unrestricted free agents who were available for any team to sign.