The NHL Free Agent Frenzy at This Hour …

The NHL Free Agent signing period kicked off a little more than an hour ago, and for the most part, what we've seen so far is teams making deals in order to clear some cap room. Here's a quick rundown of what's been confirmed so far:

The Edmonton Oilers dealt Raffi Torres to Columbus for Gilbert Brule, and also acquired Erik Cole from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for defenseman Joni Pitkanen. Click here for details. Meanwhile, Carolina also signed ex-RSL defenseman Anton Babchuk.

Tampa Bay snagged winger Radim Vrbata away from Phoeinix.

The Anaheim Ducks signed winger Corey Perry to a contract extension.

The Calgary Flames obtained Rene Bourque from the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Red Wings have re-signed defenseman Brad Stuart.

Pat Lackey already wrote about Evgeni Malkin, but the Penguins also re-signed Pascal Dupuis.

The Devils re-signed Jay Pandolfo and Bryce Salvador, but said goodbye to Sergei Brylin.

First thoughts: The Brule deal with not be welcome in Edmonton, but the Cole deal is solid. I'm guessing with Vrbta signed the Lightning are done dealing with Brian Rolston, but you never know. And Chicago may be clearing the decks for a big signing.

Stick with us throughout the afternoon. I'm sure plenty of agents are pondering some big numbers right about now.

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