And it sure lived up to its hype. A record number of salary dollars were spent, and a record number of players were signed by various teams. If you're an Ottawa Senators fan, as I am, it wasn't likely a good feeling for you when it was over. The Senators didn't make any real moves, other than signing Milan Michalek to a new, 3-year deal, and trading Jason Spezza to the Dallas Stars for Alex Chiasson, a couple of prospects, and a draft pick.
I've just got a couple of observations about the deals. Signing Michalek made a lot of sense, as he's a veteran, still has some wheels (in this case, skates), and has a good record with the Senators when he's not injured. The Spezza trade, well... What can I say? With the signing of Ryan Kesler by Anaheim, Spezza's value went down, and then add the whole Nashville Predators fiasco the other day, and... GM Bryan Murray said that he made the best deal that he could, given the circumstances, and I believe him.
That said, I had hoped that Murray would sign a high-quality forward during the Free Agent Frenzy that went on yesterday, but such was not the case. The Senators need an established centreman to replace Spezza, and likely a couple of other forwards. Another decent, veteran defenseman wouldn't hurt either. Now, it's just a matter of what Murray can find during the summertime, and whether he can make a deal of some sort to replace Spezza in some fashion.
But when it comes down to it, when the Senators open their training camp and season, there's going to be a lot of questions about the team. The two biggies will be: Who is the Captain going to be? And how competitive will the Senators be in the East this year?