Having seen some of the amounts, but more importantly, the duration of the contracts being signed on July 1st, I noticed that just about all of the big signings were made by the usual 'big players' of old - NYR, Detroit, Colorado, Philly, and Toronto. Of course, with a cap in place they can't beat the other teams on the amount of money they can offer (at least they can't go over the maximum), so they beat them by the duration of the deal. Can a smaller market team afford to give Daniel Briere an 8-year deal at $52 million? Probably not, because who knows if they'll be able to afford that in eight years if their fanbases are shrinking. But the aforementioned teams know that they'll probably always be making big money, so they can afford to throw a ton of money at the players up front, and then years down the line, they'll throw some more money at them to buy them out of the last year or two of their deal and not even think about it. Sure, it's expensive, but those teams will all have that money to burn. They're playing to their advantage, and in the meantime, it doesn't hurt them that the going rate for 'star caliber' players rises due to their extravagance, which will make it even harder for the lower-budget teams to cope on a competitive level. And if by chance salaries SHOULD get out of hand, the escrow payments will be made back to them anyway. So to those who think that another CBA will be needed soon, I wouldn't be so sure... the big money teams got their 'spending freedom' (even if it took them two years to start to figure it out), the smaller markets have their revenue sharing and escrow so they should at least be able to turn a small profit, and the players will, soon enough, be back to making $8-10 million a year for the elite level guys. The NHL may have just figured out how to keep everyone happy in their own little world, while the average fan is back to shaking his head at how overpaid all the players are.