How the NHL salary cap reached $69 million, free agency could be busier earlier this year, reaction to the Briere-for-Parenteau trade and more. 

NHLPA fought for a lower salary cap for 2014-15.

NHLPA fought for a lower salary cap for 2014-15.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL: James Mirtle reports the players concern over a higher escrow payments for next season is why the salary cap was ultimately set at $69 million.

Eric Duhatschek speculates the pre-free agency interview period could lead to free agent signings occurring earlier and quicker on the opening day of free agency.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The players concern over escrow also means a few teams will have less money to spend on salaries for next season, which could affect the employment of some lesser-talented NHL players, or how much some lesser lights receive for contract offers.

I concur with Duhatschek that we could see many free agent signings take place earlier than usual. The same thing happened last year.

DENVER POST: Adrian Dater offers up his thoughts on yesterday’s swap of P.A. Parenteau for Daniel Briere, noting the latter’s playoff experience could make him a worthwhile addition for the Avalanche.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My take on the trade can be found here.

ARIZONA REPUBLIC: A look at how the Sam Gagner trade went down for the Arizona Coyotes.

TSN.CA: The Los Angeles Kings re-signed Jeff Schultz to a two-year, $1.7 million contract.

NBC SPORTS: The New Jersey Devils re-signed defenseman Adam Larsson to a one-year, $900K contract.