Daniel Alfredsson bolted from the Ottawa Senators to sign with the Detroit Red Wings, sensing that was the best move he could make in his drive to win a championship before his career ends.
“It’s all about trying to get the Stanley Cup,” he said.
It is for Jarome Iginla, too.
Iginla signed a one-year deal with the Eastern Conference champion Boston Bruins on Friday night. The longtime Calgary Flames and short-time Pittsburg Penguins forward will make $1.8 million guaranteed and can make up to $6 million with Boston.
The Senators, refusing to settle after losing Alfredsson, responded with a bold move to acquire Bobby Ryan from the Anaheim Ducks.
NHL teams made a big splash on the first day of free agency with a slew of signings and some trades.
Less than a year after the league’s latest lockout, many teams spent big bucks on free agents despite knowing they will have to deal with a smaller cap next season.
Ilya Bryzgalov and Jaromir Jagr were among the notable names hoping teams whiffed on other free agents signed them soon.
The Columbus Blue Jackets were among the big spenders, signing Nathan Horton to a $37.1 million, seven-year contract.
Detroit, like Columbus, is heading to the Eastern Conference next season. The Red Wings made moves to try to extend their postseason streak to 23 and reach the Stanley Cup finals for the first time since 2009.
Soon after adding Alfredsson, the Red Wings agreed to terms on a $24.5 million, five-year contract with 30-year-old center Stephen Weiss.
A lot of other teams also made moves to jockey for position in the parity-filled league:
— The New Jersey Devils signed forward Ryane Clowe to a five-year, $24.25 million contract, and forward Michael Ryder to a two-year, $7 million deal.
— The Nashville Predators signed Chicago forward Viktor Stalberg to a $12 million, four-year deal.
— The Pittsburgh Penguins reunited with defenseman Rob Scuderi by giving him a $13.5 million, four-year deal.