Stephane Matteau

NHL free agents take high-priced hit in stagnant cap era

Aside from defensemen Kevin Shattenkirk and Karl Alzner attracting $20 million-plus contracts, NHL free agency isn't what it used to be. Not in a stagnant salary-cap era.

Though plenty of players switched teams once the signing period opened Saturday, missing were the high-priced, long-term contracts that were once the norm.

Shattenkirk, considered the top free agent available , signed a four-year, $26.6 million contract with the New York Rangers. And after nine seasons in Washington, Alzner signed a five-year, $23.1 million deal with Montreal.

Shattenkirk noted he turned down a more lucrative offer to sign with the Rangers, in part for the opportunity to play...

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