A lot of people seem to blame teams like the Rangers, Red Wings, Pens and Avs for the sky rocketing salaries and the possible problems (and maybe even a work stoppage) with a new CBA because of these salaries.
But if you look back about thirty years ago, you'll see how the Montreal Canadiens built their powerful teams of the 1970s by taking advantage of the expansion teams. A lot of those expansion were always short on cash, so the Habs would offer them a veteran player that was past it but still had a name, and sweeten the pot with a bit of cash in exchange for draft picks. The expansion team's hope was that this veteran player would at the very least sell tickets or maybe even improve the team (and of course cash is always a good thing). Often this was not the case, the expansion team almost always missed the playoffs and finished with a low point total. This meant those draft picks that were traded to the Habs ended up being real gems, Guy Lafluer, and Ken Dryden just to name a couple.
I guess the point I'm trying to make is cash was thrown around back in the day too. I guess you could look at those draft picks as UFAs in some respect because the Habs had to throw some cash at the teams that held the rights to those picks in order to help secure them.