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Top Line: Ovechkin shows true colors; Hurricanes relocating?; more links

Alex Ovechkin has been in some highly politicized situations this year, particularly when he played for host Russia at the Sochi Games. Photo:

Alex Ovechkin has been in some highly politicized situations this year, particularly when he played for host Russia at the Sochi Games.

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

I was going to offer my thoughts on the “Save Children From Fascism” photo that Alex Ovechkin posted to Instagram on Thursday, but have decided that it's better for you to read the take of an avowed fan of the Russian superstar. You can tell it hurts Peter Hassett to write this, and that's what makes his piece so terrific. A must-read. ​

Rumors of the potential sale of the Hurricanes will only intensify in the wake of broadcaster Dan Patrick's comments on Thursday. But relocation? That's not going to happen, according to Luke DeCock.

Senators owner Eugene Melnyk says that he's not selling any part of the team, despite widespread rumors to the contrary.

How small is the potential fan base for hockey in Las Vegas? Well, if you believe Nate Silver the city's puckheads could all hang out in a decent-sized basement.

Are the Flyers the latest team to drop their Ice Girls? No official word on this from the team, but one Ice Girl says that's what's happening.

The Penguins believe that Derick Pouliot is ready to handle an Olli Maatta-sized workload as a rookie next season. Hey, maybe ex-GM Ray Shero wasn't so lousy at drafting after all.

• Veteran Kevin Bieksa says that he still believes in the Canucks ... which suggests that he's either politically astute or has suffered one too many knocks on the noggin.

• Flames netminder Karri Ramo rocked an Edgar Allen Poe-inspired mask last season, but this year's model will have a whole new level of darkness.

• GM Doug Wilson is expecting different results from the Sharks despite doing little more to change the dynamics of the team's dressing room than stripping the captaincy from Joe Thornton. Can San Jose deliver? Or is Wilson just crazy?

Jonathan Willis takes a look at the Ryan Johansen contract impasse and doesn't see a solution coming any time soon.

Has any GM ever had a summer quite like Lou Lamoriello did in 1991?

A Bruins prospect has changed his name to honor two influential women in his life. Much respect, Zane.

The OHL's Ottawa 67s have hired a new director of player development. He's 18 years old. Seriously. I could barely dress myself at 18.

Ryan Smyth is heading out of town to watch the Green Bay Packers and then the New York Yankees. Anything to keep busy and to keep his mind off of the preseason preparations that he misses now that he's retired.

Maple Leafs 2014 first-rounder William Nylander has his sights set on making the big club this season. And if he gets there, he hopes to wear number 88 ... but not for the reason you might think.

 

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