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2022 NHL free-agency rankings: Top options, best values, boom-or-bust players

There are different ways for teams to enter the NHL free-agent pool. There are big splashes for star players. Other teams methodically wade in, making sure their feet (and their finances) remain grounded. Some just dip their toes in.

The Tampa Bay Lightning and Colorado Avalanche, currently playing in the Stanley Cup Final, were both active in the pool last summer. The Lightning signed veteran forwards Corey Perry and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare -- the latter of whom came from the Avalanche, no less. Pat Maroon, an integral part of Tampa Bay's back-to-back Cup wins, was a free-agent signing in 2019.