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Top Line: Time to trade Chara? Johansen talks go on; must-reads

The towering 6-9 defenseman has had a good career in Boston, but the time may be coming for a trade. Photo: Mike Carlson/NHLI via Getty Images

The towering 6-9 defenseman has had a good career in Boston, but the time may be coming for a trade.

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

Is it time for Boston to consider trading Zdeno Chara? He was a Norris finalist last year and remains one of the most impactful players in the game, but Big Z can't play at this level forever. It's almost impossible to imagine a scenario where the B's look to move him this year, but next season? I wouldn't rule it out.

Both sides in the Ryan Johansen-Blue Jackets contract impasse have dug in their heels, leading Aaron Portzline to ask the question the team's fans have been dreading: Is it time for Columbus to plan on starting the season without him?

Jonathan Willis says Justin Schultz's new contract gives the Oilers all the negatives of a bridge deal without the positives.

Matt Larkin works up a list of the league's 10 worst contracts. You can probably guess who's at No. 1.

George Malik has the latest on Jimmy Howard's new mask, the curious case of Stephen Weiss and the possible end of the Todd Bertuzzi-Steve Moore lawsuit in this morning's Red Wings wrap-up.

Marc Staal is entering the final year of his contract. Do the Rangers have a ready replacement in Brady Skjei?

Anaheim enters the season as a legitimate Stanley Cup contender, but without any certainty between the pipes. NHL.com's 30-in-30 series focuses today on the Ducks and the questions facing them this season, including the battle between Frederik Andersen and John Gibson to be the starting goaltender.

Carolina captain Eric Staal took his first hard skate since undergoing abdominal surgery over the summer. Here's how it went.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere's retirement this week marked the end of an era, but it also highlighted the the enduring love affair with the Hartford Whalers.

Could a couple of former No. 1 picks be on the move? Lyle Richardson examines the trade buzz surrounding Joe Thornton and Vincent Lecavalier.

Forget trying to winning the Stanley Cup. The mediocrity of making the playoffs would be just fine for the Vancouver Canucks

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