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Top Line: Kane and Toews deals close; why RFAs won't get offers; more links

Photo: Robin Alam/Icon SMI

New contracts for Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews are a priority for the Blackhawks, but with each expected to top $10 million, salary cap issues are causing snags.

 

An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:

Blackhawks fans who are hoping for the announcement of long-term contract extensions for Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane will have to wait through the holiday weekend. Talks are going well, but sources say they're taking longer than expected.

• Worried about the possibility of another team poaching your team's prized RFA? Don't be. Aaron Portzline uses Ryan Johansen's situation in Columbus to explain why an offer for a promising young player like him isn't likely to come. Terrific piece, and one you might want to bookmark for future reference.

Ryan O'Reilly's agent calls him “a stubborn young man,” which does not bode well for the Avalanche's hope of getting the RFA signed to a long-term deal. O'Reilly will be a UFA in two years. Sounds like he's marking the days off on his calendar until then.

• You like what Colorado did in free agency? Craig Button doesn't. The TSN analyst has the Avs missing the playoffs next season.

• The Devils have fully committed to Cory Schneider as their No. 1 goaltender. Now they're committed to getting him signed to a long-term extension. Soon.

• The Arizona Coyotes have hired a new assistant GM with a glorious track record of recent success. OK, not really.

• The Red Wings are thinking long-term with 43 of the 44 prospects who will be attending their development camp. And then there's No. 44...

The Ottawa Senators are talking trade with an eye on improving their center depth and alleviating a logjam at defense.

• Could Vincent Lecavalier and the Flyers still be a match?

• Despite the support of GM Brian MacLellan, defensman Mike Green better prepare himself for a season at the center of trade rumors.

• Rory Boylen came up with a list of five unforgettable Alexei Kovalev moments. I'd forgotten all about No. 1. Amazing.

• Yes, Jon Cooper is excited about the reinforcements airlifted into Tampa during the past two weeks by GM Steve Yzerman. But the coach would be a lot happier if everyone tapped the brakes on their expectations of the 2014-15 Lightning.

• Former NHL enforcer Georges Laraque has dropped the gloves in an effort to put a stop to a popular Quebec pig festival. Now there's a sentence I never thought I'd type.

• Ryan Kennedy offers a look at promising forward Dennis Yan along with other top prospects who are attending Team USA's summer Under-18 camp.

• Here's some absolute gold from the NHL Draft: The Predators had a mic on general manager David Poile and captured his day as it happened, including discussions on picks and insights on the James Neal trade.

• Willy Palov looks over the small group of QMJHL players taken at last week's draft and spies a couple of possible steals.

Mike Fisher tweeted his support for the Hobby Lobby decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. Anyone have a problem with that?

Nashville's Rich Clune outed himself as an alcoholic in recovery. In this podcast he explains why he made that choice and where he's at now.

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