NEW YORK - The spending on NHL free agents started Tuesday morning and hadn't stopped well into the evening.
And the surprising part was, marquee players such as Marian Hossa, Jaromir Jagr and Mats Sundin still hadn't decided what team would shower them with riches.
Sundin was reportedly offered a two-year contract from the Vancouver Canucks worth $20 million, a deal that would make the Toronto Maple Leafs captain the league's highest-paid player.
'Shocked. I think that word says enough,' Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello said of the free-flowing cash around the NHL.
Lamoriello did his share of spending, too. He started the day by re-signing forward Jay Pandolfo and defenseman Bryce Salvador, but declined the Devils' option on veteran Sergei Brylin - a three-time Stanley Cup winner in New Jersey.
Then the Devils dipped into the free-agent pool and brought back centers Brian Rolston and Bobby Holik. Rolston agreed to a four-year, $20 million contract, and Holik signed on for one year at $2.5 million.
The biggest moves were made by the Chicago Blackhawks, who landed top defenseman Brian Campbell with an eight-year, $57.12 million deal, and goalie Cristobal Huet with a four-year, $22.5 million contract.
Campbell proved to be just a rental player for the San Jose Sharks, who got him from Buffalo at the NHL trade deadline but couldn't get out of the second round.
He and Huet are joining a team that boasts rookie of the year Patrick Kane and fellow forward Jonathan Toews, who was a runner-up for the award.
With the salary cap rising to $56.7 million for next season and the minimum jumping to $40.7 million, teams had lots of money to spend.
They didn't waste any time in dishing it out.
'I wish I was a player,' Blackhawks general manager Dale Tallon said. 'On July 1, you always overpay.
'We had to make a statement. We have created a buzz here in this market. We're starting to sell more and more tickets, more and more sponsorships. We decided that we'd try and make an impact today to continue that momentum.'
The Blackhawks haven't made the playoffs since 2002, but got close last season with 88 points (40-34-8), three behind Nashville and the final playoff spot in the Western Conference last season.
The other big defensemen to reach deals Tuesday were Michal Rozsival and Wade Redden, who both signed with the New York Rangers.
Rozsival returned to the Rangers, where he spent the past three seasons, for a four-year, $20 million deal. Redden left the Ottawa Senators by signing a six-year contract worth $6.5 million per season.
Defenseman Mike Commodore said goodbye to the Senators, too, and signed a five-year, $18.75 million deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Cory Stillman, who went with him to Ottawa from Carolina at the trade deadline also found a new home with the Florida Panthers. The veteran forward agreed to a three-year contract worth $10.6 million.
Another defenseman, Colorado's Jeff Finger, signed a four-year, $14 million deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
While the Rangers waited for Jagr and Sundin to make up their minds, they were active in other areas, too. New York agreed to terms with free agent forwards Aaron Voros, formerly of the Minnesota Wild, San Jose's Patrick Rissmiller, and Andreas Jamtin from the Swedish league.
The Rangers also re-signed backup goalie Steve Valiquette.
That was just a minor move on a day in which eight goalies changed teams.
Huet, who helped the Washington Capitals get into the playoffs after being acquired from Montreal at the deadline, packed up again and headed to Chicago. The void wasn't open for long as the Capitals replaced him with veteran Jose Theodore, giving the 2002 NHL MVP a two-year deal worth $9 million.
Washington's longtime netminder Olie Kolzig left the nation's capital after 16 seasons and signed a one-year contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning worth $1.5 million plus bonuses.
Curtis Joseph returned to the Toronto Maple Leafs with a one-year, $700,000 deal; Alex Auld agreed to terms with Ottawa for a two-year deal worth $2 million; Ty Conklin left the Pittsburgh Penguins and joined the Detroit Red Wings, the team that beat his former club for the Stanley Cup, for a one-year, $700,000 contract; and Andrew Raycroft signed an $800,000 deal for next season with Colorado.