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Top Line: Is Las Vegas ready for the NHL?; more must-reads

Fabulous Las Vegas has hosted the annual NHL Awards extravaganza, but Sin City's ability to host a franchise is still very much in doubt. Photo:

Fabulous Las Vegas has hosted the annual NHL Awards extravaganza, but Sin City's ability to host a franchise is still very much in doubt.

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

Let's run this one more time as a counterpoint to Tuesday night's expansion fever: Local voices aren't convinced that Las Vegas is ready for the NHL, or any other pro league for that matter. Doesn't mean it can't, or won't, happen but the concerns deserve serious consideration.

​• Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly has weighed in on the Vegas rumor.

• Now we know what's behind the delay in the Steve Moore-Todd Bertuzzi legal settlement.

• Do #fancystats hold the answers to the Maple Leafs' problems? New assistant GM Kyle Dubas, the guru of the numbers crowd, warns that there are no magic formulas and cautions analytics acolytes to not be in a rush to find them just yet. I'm guessing the stats geeks will write off his hesitance as a small sample size.

• Which player would you rather have on your team: Patrick Kane or Phil Kessel? Ryan Dixon lays out the argument for each being the right choice.

• Evgeni Malkin is in line for a pair of new wingers with the Penguins this season, including one of Sidney Crosby's favorite running buddies.

​​Owen Nolan is right. Despite the Sharks' lingering shock over their playoff meltdown and the comic manner in which they have mishandled their captaincy—taking the C away from Joe Thornton and giving it to ... no one—San Jose is still a dangerous team.

​​​• After a season in which everything fell apart, can the Coyotes rediscover the stifling defense that's been their identity for years?

Canadiens goalie Carey Price was honored in his hometown over the weekend, and the event allowed him the opportunity to talk about a very worthy charitable endeavor. Nice work, but that's some bad hat you got there, Carey.

• A Dallas magazine has named Stars captain Jamie Benn one of the 10 most eligible bachelors in the city. That's great and all, but the real news here is that the mag managed to get a photo of him without a toque. Who's your hair stylist, bud?

• The Oilers are optimistic that they can get top defenseman Justin Schultz signed to a new deal before training camp starts ... assuming, of course, that he's willing to accept a P.K. Subban-style bridge deal. Considering where Schultz is at in his development, that seems like a perfectly reasonable move for Edmonton. Of course, that doesn't mean Schultz will feel the same way.

​​The Canadian Hockey League is fighting back against attempts to unionize its 1,300-plus student-athletes. Rick Westhead has the latest.

If you haven't already heard the gruesome story of Cory Sarich's near-fatal bike crash this summer, you might want to wait until after breakfast. But his story of survival and perseverance makes for the perfect mid-morning pick-me-up.

Several Jets are hard at working prepping for a training camp that coach Paul Maurice has promised will be brutal. If you can't be the most talented team, be the most prepared.

Yeah, you've seen a million takes on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by now, but this one's pretty funny. Plus, Isaiah Mustafa is a hockey guy so give it a look.

 

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