Biggest surprises from the first day of NHL free agency

The clock struck noon EST and the NHL’s free agency period officially started. Thanks to the fact teams and agents had a rather large window to talk prior to the window opening, deals came in from across the league in a hurry.

There were surprises. There were even some big, big surprises. Here’s a quick look at some of the transactions which had the hockey world buzzing.

If we missed one that shocked you, post it in the comments. Yes, we imagine there will be some Dave Bolland comments, so bring it!

The Jason Spezza trade

Spezza being traded wasn’t a surprise. The fact he landed in Dallas was. Numerous teams were connected to Spezza including Anaheim, St. Louis and Nashville. Spezza ended up vetoing a trade to Nashville and instead went to … Dallas? Didn’t expect that.

Mike Cammalleri receives a five-year, $25 million deal

Cammalleri going to the Devils was a bit unexpected, but the fact the 32-year-old received a deal as long as five years is kind of crazy.

Capitals pay Brooks Orpik a hefty ransom

Brooks Orpik signing with the Capitals makes a lot of sense, but the fact he earned a five-year, $27.5 million contract made a lot of people scratch their head.

Josh Gorges is traded to Buffalo

Gorges turned down a trade earlier to go to the Toronto Maple Leafs. He then accepted one to go to the Buffalo Sabres. If you’re Toronto, ouch!

Brad Richards’ tiny contract

A one-year contract for Richards isn’t a total surprise, nor is the fact he signed with the Blackhawks. However, it’s a shocker that it only cost $2 million. Clearly he wants to play with a contender and was willing to take a small salary to do so.

Ales Hemsky goes to Dallas

As if the Jason Spezza trade wasn’t enough, the Stars also went out and got Ales Hemsky. The Central is a scary, scary place.

Honorable Mentions

Ryan Miller to Vancouver

Prior to the official free agency period, Miller had been in talks with Vancouver. The link appeared strong, but it’d be crazy for Miller to choose a team which has such a colorful history with goaltenders, wouldn’t it?

Paul Stastny takes less to play in St. Louis

Stastny landing in St. Louis was actually pretty expected, but he easily could have taken a larger offer elsewhere. He stated he wanted a big raise and in the end he took a smaller one to play for his hometown team. For Blues fans, this announcement was a shocker as most thought the Blues couldn’t afford to pay the center.

About David Rogers

Editor for The Comeback and Contributing Editor for Awful Announcing. Lover of hockey, soccer and all things pop culture.