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2014 NHL Free Agency: 5 Biggest Surprises So Far

The 5 Biggest Surprises of 2014 NHL Free Agency So Far

2014 NHL Free Agency Surprises
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Despite a fairly weak class of available players, 2014 NHL free agency has managed to stay pretty interesting. Overpayments and questionable decisions have been about as commonplace as air. Here are the 5 biggest surprises of the period so far.

5. Ryan Miller Signs with the Vancouver Canucks

Ryan Miller Vancouver Canucks
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5. Ryan Miller Signs with the Vancouver Canucks

Ryan Miller Vancouver Canucks
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Ryan Miller was linked to the Vancouver Canucks in rumors as soon as teams were allowed to contact free agents in late June, but it was hard to take the whispers seriously. After the debacles in net that have gone down the past several seasons in Vancouver, the idea of a goalie actively choosing to play for the Canucks seems laughable. Miller evidently didn't care.

4. Edmonton Oilers Give Benoit Pouliot Way Too Much Money

Benoit Pouliot Edmonton Oilers
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4. Edmonton Oilers Give Benoit Pouliot Way Too Much Money

Benoit Pouliot Edmonton Oilers
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Five years and $20 million for a dime-a-dozen bottom-six player like Benoit Pouliot is abject silliness. That isn't to say that the Edmonton Oilers making a ridiculous decision is shocking; the team's on-ice product and front office have personified the word "inept" with fantastic accuracy for nearly a decade now. Still, this was one of the most bizarre signings of free agency.

3. Ottawa Senators Trade Jason Spezza to Dallas Stars

Jason Spezza Dallas Stars
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3. Ottawa Senators Trade Jason Spezza to Dallas Stars

Jason Spezza Dallas Stars
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The whole world knew Jason Spezza was going to be moved after the star center demanded a trade from the Ottawa Senators, but not many predicted that he would land with the Dallas Stars. Senators' GM Bryan Murray didn't expect the market for Spezza to dry up as quickly as it did, and he ended up having to settle for a disappointing haul from the Stars.

2. Washington Capitals Pay Brooks Orpik Like a No. 1 Defenseman

Brooks Orpik Washington Capitals
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2. Washington Capitals Pay Brooks Orpik Like a No. 1 Defenseman

Brooks Orpik Washington Capitals
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"Desperation to improve" and "July 1st" often proves to be one of the most spectacularly ugly combinations in hockey, and the Washington Capitals did not disappoint. Brooks Orpik's cap hit next year will be about the same as Duncan Keith's.

1. Florida Panthers Egregiously Overpay Dave Bolland

Dave Bolland Florida Panthers
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1. Florida Panthers Egregiously Overpay Dave Bolland

Dave Bolland Florida Panthers
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Florida Panthers' GM Dale Tallon's affinity for past Chicago Blackhawks players is getting flat-out destructive at this point. In one of the most preposterous deals in the history of NHL free agency, Tallon inked Dave Bolland to a contract that will have him carrying a $5.5M cap hit for the next five seasons.
Bolland has played in 44.6 percent of his teams' regular season games in the last two years. Nice one, Florida.

Sean Sarcu is a Chicago Blackhawks writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter or add him to your network on Google.