-The most notable re-signing of the day was that of defenseman Christian Ehrhoff with the Buffalo Sabres, whose rights the club had acquired from the NY Islanders just one day prior.
Ehrhoff inked a heavily front-loaded ten year, $40 million deal, which will see him make $18 million in the first two seasons of the deal, $4 million per season the next three seasons, $3 million in the seventh year, and $1 million per season in the final three years.
It's deals like that which will give the Sabres not only a cap-friendly hit of between $4-5 million per season, but could also give them enough cap space to take a serious run at UFA center Brad Richards when the UFA market opens on Friday at noon ET.
This is also the kind of deal which has made a mockery of the salary cap, as once again, another general manager exploits a loophole which allows contract to be heavily front-loaded in order to achieve a more manageable cap hit.
Ehrhoff should enjoy this deal, as his could be amongst the last of their kind under this current collective bargaining agreement, as the league will undoubtedly move to close that loophole in the next round of labor talks.
Don't blame the blueliner, by the way, he's only signing what was offered to him. The Sabres better hope however this contract doesn't become a hindrance down the road.
-The Chicago Blackhawks re-sign defenseman Steve Montador to a four year, $11 million contract worth $2.75 million per season.
It's a significant raise for Montador, who earned $1.55 million with the Buffalo Sabres last season. He's long been amongst the most under-rated defensemen in the league, and should provide valuable, experienced depth as a top-four blueliner on the Blackhawks defense.
-The Carolina Hurricanes re-signed left winger Jussi Jokinen to a three-year, $9 million contract, worth $3 million per season.
Jokinen, 28, was tied for fourth on the Hurricanes in scoring with 52 points in 70 games, down slightly from the career best 30-goal, 65-point performance of 2009-10.
He's had his best seasons with the Hurricanes so there's little wonder he wished to remain or that management wanted to retain him. The new salary is a considerable raise over his $1.7 million of this past season.
-The St Louis Blues re-signed center T.J. Oshie to a one-year, $2.35 million contract.
Oshie, 24, had 12 goals and 34 points in 49 games last season, which was shortened by an ankle injury which sidelined him for 31 games. He also attracted a bit of bad late-season publicity when he was suspended for missing a team practice.
This one-year deal indicates the Blues unwillingness to invest long-term in Oshie until he's proven himself a reliable offensive player. He's teased with his ability in up to this point, but this season is time for him to have his long-awaited breakthrough performance.
-The Edmonton Oilers re-signed defenseman Ladislav Smid to a two year contract worth $2.25 million per season.
Smid, 25, was eligible for restricted free agent status on July 1st. He had ten points with a plus-minus of -10 last season.
The Oilers have been patiently waiting for the 6-3, 226 lb Smid to become the physical defenseman they anticipated when acquiring him as part of the trade which sent Chris Pronger to Anaheim in 2006.
This two year deal will take Smid up to unrestricted free agency, but also gives him a limited period of time to finally emerge as a dominant, stay-at-home blueliner.
-The Colorado Avalanche re-signed 6-5, 234 lb defenseman Ryan O'Byrne to a two-year, $3.6 million contract.
O'Byrne, 26, joined the Avalanche early last season in a trade with the Montreal Canadiens, chalking up ten points and a plus-minus of -7 on a rebuilding Colorado defense. He'll be expected to play more of a physical role over the next two seasons.
-The San Jose Sharks re-signed forward Jamie McGinn to a one-year, $680K contract.