NHL free agency: Grading best, worst deals and how Carey Price fits in

NHL general managers were reluctant buyers on July 1 for maybe the first time ever, and the lack of egregiously bad contracts made for one boring afternoon.

Karl Alzner was the only player in a thin unrestricted free agent class whose contract exceeded four years in term. As a whole, teams handed out roughly $450 million in new deals Saturday, per CapFriendly.com calculations. And that figure was inflated by big extensions in San Jose, Anaheim and Pittsburgh, so it has been a tame weekend overall.

It was perfect encapsulation of everything Hossa was over his first 10 years in the NHL, and everything he continued to be in what might be his final nine. Fast, yet patient. Stylish, yet powerful. Polished, yet unafraid to go into the dirty areas to score. Even in the last two years, when Hossa’s ability slipped ever-so-slightly as he ventured into the twilight of his career, he maintained that occasional brilliance that reminded you of his past.

The Slovak winger is always among the fastest players on the ice. But whereas some players, like this season’s likely Hart Trophy winner Connor McDavid, look like they’re shot out of a cannon when they Direct Cheap Jerseys accelerate up the ice, Hossa has a quiet speed that sneaks up on opponents. It’s a balanced, smooth China Cheap Jerseys Wholesale quickness that allows him to react to plays faster than anyone else on the ice. It is why he has always been one of the best defensive forwards in the NHL, accumulating Selke Trophy votes in 13 of the last 15 years.