You cannot ignore what the Buffalo Sabres and Florida Panthers did with the magnitude of their moves to get back to the salary-cap floor and beyond on Tuesday.

But what did we learn from the latest edition of the NHL free-agent frenzy that saw 73 players (41 forwards, 20 defenceman, 12 goalies) and $503.1 million US worth of contracts signed in the first six hours?

First, unless you're the Washington Capitals and weren't afraid to sign a defenceman like Matt Niskanen to a whopping seven-year deal worth $5.75 million a season, clubs weren't willing to give more term than five-year contracts.

But mostly we learned the arms race remains in the Western Conference. If we thought the West was best with the likes of the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings, Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks, plenty of teams in the conference were enhanced in the last week.


Read more: Free-agent frenzy sees West try to keep up with Kings | Hockey | CBC Sports