When NHL free agency opened on July 1st, we expected a frenzy, and we had it.
There were 18 signings announced in just the first two hours, and major moves continued throughout the day. Indeed, the opening of the 2010 edition of the free agent market was quite hectic.
Well, for one day, that is.
The rest of July, so far, has been extremely quiet, with Ilya Kovalchuk's waiting game the only headline for almost a week. Still, according to capgeek.com, an impressive 110 new contracts have been reported in just five days, and there are plenty of big names still available (see Kovalchuk, Ilya, Nabokov, Evgeni, or Kariya, Paul).
Each of the 30 NHL teams went into the "Frenzy" with a blueprint of what positions needed some help and who they could sign for the right price, but it's fair to say that not many of them truly managed to stick to that plan.
Of course, the activities of many teams were expected, too; we figured the Hawks would try to shed some salary even after winning the Cup, and we knew that teams like Toronto and Florida would also need to mix some players around.
Even though we are just a few days into free agency and less than a month into the offseason, there are some squads that are happy with their bounty of newcomers, and others that perhaps aren't quite as elated.
Naturally, it's hard to tell exactly what each team was looking for and who they're close to signing in the near future, but here are a few major winners, losers, and "surprises" of the 2010 NHL offseason so far.