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Top Line: Weird twist in Islanders lawsuit; more must-reads

There's rarely a dull moment for NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and team owner Charles Wang when it comes to the ongoing saga of the New York Islanders. Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

There's rarely a dull moment for NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and team owner Charles Wang when it comes to the ongoing saga of the New York Islanders.

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

• The lawsuit over the aborted sale of the Islanders just took another goofy twist. It turns out that Andrew Barroway, who says he had a handshake agreement with New York owner Charles Wang for the purchase of the club, used the half-brother of NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman to facilitate the deal. One of the challenges of becoming an owner in the league is convincing the other owners that you'd be a swell fit for their exclusive club. Networking is essential for potential buyers. But a smart guy like Barroway should have recognized that this particular approach might look a bit like a conflict of interest, don't you think?

• Speaking of Bettman, he's featured heavily in this multi-sport look at the rapidly evolving role of the commissioner in modern sports leagues. Some fascinating stuff here on what his job entails and what powers he has, and what powers he doesn't have.

The folks at Rogers Communications are starting to worry that they might have paid too much for their recently negotiated Canadian NHL broadcast deal. They probably should have thought about some of this before they signed that record-smashing 12-year, $5.2 billion agreement, but what do I know, right?

• Guitar-slingin’ goalie Ryan Miller talks about his favorite concert experiences, his dream collaboration and his ideal NHL supergroup in this musically themed Q&A.

• Fan outrage has led to the demise of a longstanding Blackhawks tradition.

• This is pretty cool: An interactive map that reveals how many travel miles each NHL team faces next season.

• While we're on the subject of silly summer time-kills, here's a look at the best hockey team to be found in each of the 50 states.

Flyers GM Ron Hextall has been making the media rounds this week. Here's a Q&A with NJ.com in which Hextall talks about his famous grandfather, the possibility of one of his sons reaching the NHL and the future of his team.

• Now that he's over the initial shock of being traded by the Lightning, winger Teddy Purcell is looking forward to his new opportunity with the Edmonton Oilers.

• Beau Bennett's chances of becoming a full-time top-six winger with the Penguins may have increased with the hiring of coach Mike Johnston. Here's why.

• An 11–2 win over rival Russia at the U-18 Ivan Hlinka Tournament highlights how far the Czech hockey program has come in the past decade. Here's a look at how the former superpower retooled its development system after it fell into disrepair.

• Three Hockey Night In Canada stalwarts make this list of the biggest names in Canadian broadcasting. My only question: How is Don Cherry not No. 1?

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