"Ottawa obviously lost Alfredsson, and they were able to get Bobby Ryan. But they gave up one real good young player off their team, another good young player that I believe is going to play right away, and a first-round pick.
"I don't want to say it's a steep price, but for us to get in and weigh what it would have cost us, in my mind, that's a lot."
A lot of other teams also made moves to jockey for position in the parity-filled league:
— The Phoenix Coyotes, with a new owner, signed forward Mike Ribeiro to a $22 million, four-year contract.
— The New Jersey Devils signed forward Ryane Clowe to a five-year, $24.25 million contract, and forward Michael Ryder to a two-year, $7 million deal.
— The Philadelphia Flyers gave captain Claude Giroux an eight-year extension worth over $64 million and signed Chicago's backup goalie Ray Emery to a one-year deal.
— The Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks re-signed defenseman Michal Rozsival, forward Michal Handzus and gave 40-year goalie Nikolai Khabibulin a one-year deal to replace Emery.
— The Nashville Predators signed Chicago forward Viktor Stalberg to a $12 million, four-year deal.
— The Edmonton Oilers signed former Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference to a $13 million, four-year contract.
— The Pittsburgh Penguins reunited with defenseman Rob Scuderi by giving him a $13.5 million, four-year deal.
— The Minnesota Wild, a year after signing the prizes of the free agent class, Ryan Suter and Zach Parise, inked defenseman Keith Ballard to a $3 million, two-year deal and re-signed defenseman Jared Spurgeon to a three-year, $8 million contract.
— The Dallas Stars, making a significant trade for a second straight day, acquired Edmonton Oilers center Shawn Horcoff for defenseman Philip Larsen and a 2016 seventh-round draft pick.