The first day of free agency lived up to the hype. By the time the first two hours had passed, most of the top players were already gone. There are still a few solid candidates out there that have yet to be picked up, but the store shelves are looking pretty picked over right now.

By and large -- there weren't any incredibly shocking deals. Most of those that were handed out seemed fairly reasonable for what the market would dictate. There were a few that probably were a little longer than they should have been, but for the most part there was some restraint exercised by NHL general managers.

To put a cap on Day 1 and look back at some of the deals that made waves, here's a look at our preliminary winners and losers of free agency.


Tampa Bay Lightning

Key Additions: None

The Lightning had a massively important day for their franchise. The club announced a new eight-year extension for No. 1 defenseman Victor Hedman, and a new three-year pact with goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy. Those signings come on the heels of Steven Stamkos' return.

Hedman took less than he would get as an unrestricted free agent after next season, while Vasilveskiy will be a No. 1 goalie under $4 million annually, which is great value for an expensive position.

These three players are central to Tampa's future Stanley Cup hopes. Now, the Lightning have to figure out how to re-sign Nikita Kucherov, Vladislav Namestnikov, Alex Killorn and Nikita Nesterov -- all of whom are restricted free agents.

Buffalo Sabres

Key Addition: Kyle Okposo

The Sabres have been transforming themselves into a team and organization that can attract players. Kyle Okposo was one of the biggest remaining UFAs on the market and Buffalo got him.

Having been a wing that is familiar playing with a top center, he'd be a good fit with either Ryan O'Reilly or Jack Eichel. He's also only 28 years old and while most players enjoy their prime scoring years in their early- to mid-20s, Okposo's came later. He's still in the sweet spot and at $6 million a season, the Sabres should be able to count on getting what they paid for in the early years of that deal.

There are a few moves left to be made, but mostly minor ones as Buffalo looks forward to a year of progression.

Chicago Blackhawks

Key Addition: Brian Campbell

The Blackhawks has such little cap space, but managed to upgrade a position of extreme need at a low cost. Brian Campbell, who helped the team win the Stanley Cup in 2010, is back on a one-year deal that will cost the Blackhawks only $2.25 million against the cap.

Even at 37 years old, Campbell is an extremely effective top-four defenseman, who allows Chicago to play the high-paced style it likes. Forward depth remains a concern, but the blue line got a ton better thanks to Campbell and his wife's extreme desire to return to Chicago.

Dallas Stars

Key Addition: Dan Hamhuis

The Stars get Hamhuis for two seasons at an incredibly reasonable $3.75 million per year. He is still an effective two-way defenseman that plays top-four minutes and will lessen Dallas' need to rely on young defensemen.

On top of that, the two-year term doesn't saddle them to a player on the wrong side of 30 when they have a stable of young blueliners just waiting for their chance to break through. This is a good short-term fix to a trouble spot.

Additionally, the Stars managed to hang onto valued two-way forward Patrick Eaves.

San Jose Sharks

Key Addition: Mikkel Boedker

Boedker looked like the kind of UFA that was ripe for overpayment. However, the Sharks didn't come close to overpaying. They got Boedker on a deal that will pay him $4 million annually.

It's a small raise for him, but he brings speed and scoring pop to the Stanley Cup runners up. He just looks like a really good fit with this particular team.

The Sharks also added David Schlemko as an inexpensive bottom-pairing defenseman.


Edmonton Oilers

Key Addition: Milan Lucic

If the only move the Oilers had made was to sign Lucic, I don't think there'd be any problem here. Unfortunately for the Oilers, this has to be viewed within the context that they started the week with Taylor Hall as their No. 1 left wing in the midst of his prime and they end it with Lucic replacing Hall, while also playing the bulk of his contract in his 30s.

I think Lucic will help the Oilers, but he won't have the impact that Hall did and he costs just as much. Yes, Hall's deal would have ended sooner and the next contract he could command would have been massive, but you cross that bridge when you get there.

After the Hall trade for Adam Larsson and the Lucic signing being the only significant addition, the Oilers removed a piece of their foundation and did not get markedly better in the process.

Milan Lucic was a nice add, but would the Oilers be better off with Taylor Hall? USATSI

Boston Bruins

Key Addition: David Backes

I'm not sure how paying David Backes $6 million per for five years is any better than paying Loui Eriksson $6 million per for six years. That's essentially the trade-off here because the Bruins apparently were hung up on terms with Eriksson, who is a year younger than Backes.

You get leadership, physicality and strong defensive sense from Backes, but you're also paying big bucks for the downward years of his career. Backes fits in with the Bruins model, but Eriksson fit in better with the way the league is going -- where puck possession and pushing the pace offensively are key.

This isn't meant to be an indictment on Backes, who is still effective. It just seems like the Bruins had other options. They did manage to re-sign defenseman John-Michael Liles to an affordable deal, so it wasn't all bad.

Somewhere in between

Montreal Canadiens

Key Addition: Alex Radulov

The Habs had a pretty stunning day. Bringing Radulov back to the NHL was a real shocker. It's high-risk, but there's potential for high reward as Radulov has been one of the top players in the KHL and has NHL experience.

There's no doubt he stands to boost their top-six scoring, if he manages the transition back to the NHL. Radulov has to prove he has matured from his days with the Nashville Predators, where he wore out his welcome. A one-year deal allows the Habs to take a chance here, and they may end up getting great value out of that $5.75 million their paying him.

Montreal also added veteran backup goalie Al Montoya, who is a better insurance policy if Carey Price breaks down again, and affordable defenseman Zach Redmond to help fill out the depth.

As long as Radulov shows he has matured, this could be viewed as a good day for Montreal. But it is not without some heavy risk.

Alexander Radulov is coming back to the NHL, but is that a good thing? USATSI

Detroit Red Wings

Key Addition: Frans Nielsen

Bringing in Nielsen was a great move for the Wings, but they had to pay a little more than they probably wanted.

Unfortunately for the talented Dane, he has the distinct displeasure of having to fill the skates of Pavel Datsyuk. That's no easy task. However, Nielsen is a really good two-way center.

The Wings also signed Thomas Vanek to a reasonable one-year, $2.6 million deal. If he can reclaim his game, that's going to look like a steal.

But re-signing Darren Helm to a five-year deal worth $3.85 million per season does not look like good use of cap space, nor does having Steve Ott take up a roster spot, even if it's at a deeply discounted rate.

The Red Wings are reluctant to turn this team over to the younger players that could carry the franchise to a new era. Sooner or later, they've got to change it up.

New York Islanders

Key Addition: Andrew Ladd

Bringing in Andrew Ladd for a mere $500,000-per-season less than it would have cost to keep the younger Kyle Okposo, who has shown great chemistry with whoever he plays with, seemed a bit odd. It's not a downgrade, though.

Ladd saves them a little money and gives the team virtually the same kind of thing Okposo did. He can play all over the lineup, too.

However, the Islanders also lost Frans Nielsen, who signed with the Red Wings, without adequately replacing him. They did add Jason Chimera, who is a solid veteran with versatility and tremendous speed.

Losing both Okposo and Nielsen, the latter of whom admittedly got a bigger contract than expected, sets the Islanders back ever so slightly.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Key Addition: Matt Martin

For a team that was as bad as Toronto was last year, they sure don't have a lot of cap space. That's why the signing of Matt Martin to a four-year deal worth $2.5 million per season comes as such a surprise.

The team has been touting Brendan Shanahan's "Shanaplan," and it's hard to see where this fits in. Martin is a fourth-line player, who will deliver many body checks and punch some faces, but he's never topped 19 points in a season.

That's a lot of money to pay a player like that when you're supposed to be in rebuild mode. Toronto has to try to make some moves to clear some of the salary it has, which I'm sure it will, but this signing seemed so out of character from what the management team had been doing.

Kyle Okposo's arrival in free agency makes the Sabres better instantly. USATSI