Second-tier free agents such as Flyers defenseman Matt Carle and forward Alexander Semin seem to be waiting for Ryan Suter and Zach Parise to sign so that they can offer their talents to teams that don't get a top target.
Some players, however, have jumped at chances to re-sign or sign in the opening three days of free agency.
Colorado kept defenseman Erik Johnson thanks to a $15 million, four-year deal.
Taylor Pyatt, a free-agent left winger who played his rookie season with the Islanders in 2000-01, agreed to a contract with the Rangers, worth a reportedly $3.1 million over two years.
Jiri Hudler signed a $16 million, four-year contract with Calgary - getting much more than Detroit offered to keep him - and former Flames forward Olli Jokinen left to play in Winnipeg on a $9 million, two-year contract Monday.
The Washington Capitals signed free agent defenseman Jack Hillen to a one-year contract worth $650,000.
The 26-year-old defenseman previously played parts of four seasons with the New York Islanders.
He has 10 goals, 46 assists, and 129 penalty minutes in 230 career NHL games.