Hopes were realized and dashed in a flurry of offseason NHL activity Wednesday, as some of hockey's biggest names found new homes, or solidified old ones.

With the Bruins and others intent on taking a run a free agent winger Steven Stamkos, the star decided to stay in Tampa, inking an eight-year deal worth about $8.5 million per season. His decision may have been made this postseason, when he fought back from injuries to participate in the Eastern Conference Finals. 

Tampa appears to be the best place for Stamkos to compete for a Stanley Cup, even if he left millions of dollars on the table.

Two big trades also went down that effect the landscape of the Eastern Conference. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NHL draft, Taylor Hall, was swapped for Adam Larsson as the Devils get younger and the Oilers get defense. The 24-year-old has scored 132 goals and 196 assists for 328 points in 381 games.

Then, not to be outdone, the Predators sent big man Shea Weber east to the Canadiens for P.K. Subban in a swap of elite defenseman. Boston fans will no doubt celebrate (and perhaps mourn) the loss of Subban from their division as the Bruins-Canadiens rivalry moves on to a new chapter.

"P.K. Subban is an elite offensive defenseman with tremendous skill and contagious energy that makes the Nashville Predators a better team now and into the future," Predators GM David Poile said in a statement. "Superstar defensemen of his caliber are a rare commodity, and we are thrilled to add him to the organization."

Much more is expected as free agency continues.