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Top Line: Rick Nash trade buzz, Kopitar's breakfast; more links

Photo: Juan Ocampo/NHLI via Getty Images

Rick Nash (61) may have had an underwhelming season for the Rangers, but it's hard to believe that he'll be leaving New York anytime soon.

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

• Larry Brooks is hearing plenty of chatter from around the league about the Rangers trading Rick Nash. He offers his take on the buzz, as well as some insight into some recent contract signings and the contentious $300 million promised to the players as “make-whole” payments after the last lockout.

• Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis authorized his staff to spend heavily to improve the team's defense and goaltending. Despite the rather widespread criticism of GM Brian MacLellan's efforts, Ted seems pretty happy with the results. We can all check back with him in a few months and see how he feels, eh?

• The San Jose Sharks aren't backing down from their plans to form an “ice team” for the 2014-15 season despite a backlash from some of the club's fans.

• Sam Reinhart went second in last month's NHL draft, so it's appropriate he was the second first round to do this.

• What's for breakfast, Anze?

• Of the 23 players attending Boston's dev camp, five come in with family ties to the organization. That isn't coincidence, writes Amalie Benjamin.

• Stan Fischler doesn't think much of Ottawa's chances with Kyle Turris as a first liner and offers some quick hit thoughts on trade rumors out of Boston and Martin Brodeur's dwindling options.

• It takes more than skill, speed and hockey smarts to be a Blackhawks prospect. A youngster hoping to crack one of the league's deepest rosters also has to come in with a healthy dose of patience.

• The parents of Vancouver prospect Thatcher Demko went above and beyond to give their son a chance to thrive as a hockey player growing up in San Diego.

• Adrian Dater found one well-regarded NHL analyst who really likes what the Avalanche have done this summer. Considering how few people seem to hold that opinion, we can all tip our caps to Dater for some serious sleuthing skill.

• Matt Larkin considers the summers of six borderline playoff teams in 2014 and predicts which will make the cut next season and which will be left with naught but sorrow and regret.

• The Maple Leafs don't look a whole lot different than they did before Brendan Shanahan arrived in Toronto, and that has some of the team's fans nervous about a repeat of last season's disappointing results. No worries, writes Rosie Dimanno. Shanny is playing the long game.

• How much have the Tampa Bay Lightning improved their chances this offseason? This out-of-town writer is clearly impressed.

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