Every year, free agency brings us winners and losers. Some teams go all out and will do anything to improve their team. Other teams are hurt by the previously mentioned teams' tactics.
Players take advantage of a general manager's mistakes and and receive a lot more than they normally would. In some cases, even general managers can sign players for a discounted price and can fleece another general manager who is in salary trouble with a trade.
In this slideshow, I will be focusing on the winners of this year's free agency period. Who is the biggest winner of this summer so far? Turn the page and find out.
Why he is a winner: Signed a nine-year, $60 million contract
Brad Richards is the newest albatross contract that has joined the New York Rangers organization. He might not be making as much as Marian Gaborik and might have made more money if he went elsewhere, Richards entered free agency assured to be a winner because he was the only big-time player on the market.
According to capgeek.com, Richards has a no-movement clause in his new contract. He is smart to do that because we all know what happened to Wade Redden.
The only question I have is, what is the over/under on the amount of years it takes Ranger fans to turn on Richards when his production drops.
Why They are winners: Multiple moves that have moved the Maple Leafs toward contention
Fans in Toronto have a real reason to be excited for next year. I know because I'm one of them. Brian Burke has made several moves that have improved the Leafs to a point where they are truly a contender to make the playoffs.
For the first time, there is a legitimate hope in Leafs fans minds that they can be watching a team this season that doesn't have a horrible start to the season. They hope they have a team that can play consistently well for the entire season and make the playoffs for the first time since the lockout.
Why they are all winners: Florida really overspent
Don't get me wrong, the Florida Panthers needed to spend money in order to get to the cap floor, but who they spent it on was questionable.
Ed Jovanovski, Sean Bergenheim, Scottie Upshall, Tomas Fleischmann and Tomas Kopecky all got contracts that they would not have gotten anywhere else. Fleischmann is actually the Panthers' highest-paid forward, above David Booth and Steven Weiss.
Bringing in Kris Versteeg and Brian Campbell adds another $10 million in salary for this season. With all this money being thrown around, the Panthers are easily classified as losers, but the players who signed for all that money, are definitely winners.
Why he is a winner: After a season in which he played for three teams, he finds stability in Detroit
Last season, Ian White played for the Calgary Flames, the Carolina Hurricanes, and the San Jose Sharks. This season, he will be playing for one of the best teams in the league and quite possibly be playing with one of the best defenseman of all time in Nik Lidstrom.
If he does, that learning experience will do wonders for him and he could very well have found a team where can play the rest of his career for.
Why he is a winner: Being an injury-prone player, he still gets a nice contract.
If there is anything wrong with the contract that Toronto signed him to, it's that they paid him too much for what he has gone through the past few years. $9.5 million over two years just seems like a little too much for a player who is more known for his injuries than his play on the ice.
The term of the deal is perfect for the Leafs as they are not going to be tied down to a long-term contract to a player that doesn't play much for them.
Why he is a winner: He found a team that would give him another chance in the NHL
Sheldon Souray spent last season playing in the AHL. He cleared waivers twice and was never claimed. As a player who holds the unofficial record for the hardest slap shot in the NHL, Souray was most likely disappointed that he was not freed from his imprisonment in the AHL.
So, this offseason, when the Edmonton Oilers finally bought out his contract he couldn't have been happier. Now that he has a fresh start in Dallas, Souray should be playing the best hockey of his career when the season starts this October.
Why they are winners: They added a lot of depth and toughness to a team that needed it.
The Edmonton Oilers have been a young team that had no one around to protect them. That changed this offseason. Bringing in Ben Eager and Darcy Hordichuk will make sure that players who take a run at Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle or Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, they have people to make them pay for it.
The acquisition of Eric Belanger gives them a face-off specialist and will help mentor the Oilers' young stars. The return of Ryan Smyth will also help in that department. Cam Barker brings in additional depth on the defense.
Why he is a winner: Finally was able to add free agents instead of just lose them
For years, the Buffalo Sabres didn't have the money to bring back their biggest stars. That resulted in the loss of players such as Chris Drury and Daniel Briere. That won't happen again anytime soon thanks to new owner Terry Pegula.
They brought in two very good players in Christian Ehrhoff and Ville Leino. They will most definitely improve the Sabres. Darcy Regier must have felt like a kid in a candy store knowing that he would actually had money to spend.
Why they are winners: Brought in valuable playoff experience and a better starting goalie than they had
The Washington Capitals have choked in the playoffs repeatedly for the past few years. This season, they went a long way to make sure that doesn't happen again this year.
They brought in Joel Ward, who had a pretty good run with Nashville, Jeff Halpern and Roman Hamrlik, both coming over from Montreal, and Troy Brouwer came in from Chicago. All of them contributed to their teams' playoff runs and Washington hopes that they can contribute to a Washington playoff run.
They also brought in Tomas Vokoun at a tremendously discounted price. He will mentor Michael Neuvirth and they will form one of the best tandems in the NHL this season.
Why they are winners: Brought in some veteran, depth talent
Chicago has fallen hard since they won the Stanley Cup just two seasons ago. After winning the Cup, they had to jettison a lot of their depth players because of salary cap constraints. This offseason they tried to replace the lost depth.
They added Andrew Brunnette, Jamal Mayers, and Sean O'Donnell to help with the veteran depth. They also added Daniel Carcillo fror some added sandpaper. Steve Montador was signed to a ridiculous contract but he will be a good addition to the defense.