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Top Line: Sochi complicates NHL trades; Tim Thomas back in Boston; more links

P.A. Parenteau of the Colorado Avalanche With the trade deadline looming, Montreal's interest in the Avs' P.A. Parenteau may have waned. (Getty Images)

By Allan Muir

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

• Elliotte Friedman says that the paychecks due to players during the Olympic break create a tricky double trade deadline. He also looks at the salary cap impact of the declining Canadian dollar, as well as a possible reason for Martin Brodeur's criticism of the Yankee Stadium ice in this week's 30 Thoughts column.

• The Islanders offered their take on the Yankee Stadium ice conditions after a spirited practice in the Bronx on Tuesday.

• An outdoor hockey game in Dallas? It's possible ... but there are still hurdles in the way.

• Trade talks between the Canadiens and the Avalanche are reportedly continuing, but Montreal could be targeting a different player than was initially rumored.

• At least the pressure to make a deal was lessened, slightly, when the Habs ended their four-game losing skid on Tuesday night.

• The Senators are carrying eight NHL-ready defensemen, which means someone has to go. Don Brennan reveals the one who is most likely to be traded, and also considers the offensive upside of one of the NHL's hottest goal scorers.

Steven Stamkos was back on the ice on Tuesday, but does his return really suggest that he's on target to return to action in time to join Team Canada in Sochi?

Matt Duchene might be eating an apple a day, but the Colorado forward is missing goal-scoring chances by the bushel. He has just one goal in his last 18 games. Is it time for the Avs -- and Team Canada -- to worry?

• What kind of pressure is Team Russia facing next month? "Everyone is expecting only one thing from us," said Pavel Datsyuk. "And we won’t have the right to make an error."

• James Mirtle looks at how players not heading to Sochi will -- and won't -- be spending their Olympic break.

• When Tim Thomas imagined it in his head, his return to Boston probably went a little better than it actually played out last night.

• The Beantown faithful used to love Timmy for his combativeness. Guessing they don't like it so much now that he plays for the Panthers. Also guessing the league will want to have a look at this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVwlNGdyokc

• Let's just say that former NHL referee Paul Stewart doesn't have a lot of respect for Mike Milbury. I'm guessing Mike won't let this challenge go unanswered.

• Looks like the SI.com Fan Misery Rankings concept is catching on. Damien Cox offers his own spin, taking the temperature of Canadian hockey fans with his Desolation Meter. Spoiler alert: Be nice to a Maple Leafs fan today.

• David Pollak has a feature on Sharks goalie Alex Stalock and the lost year that preceded his breakthrough season.

• Just when everything started going right for the Jets, the injury bug has claimed offensive star Evander Kane. Rory Boylen reveals how long Kane will be out of the lineup, and what it could mean for Winnipeg's soaring fortunes.

• Some days he looks like a 29-year-old vet, all poise and savvy. On others, he's clearly a 19-year-old kid struggling to figure out how to adapt to the best league in the world. Ed Tait has a look at the fits and starts of the Predators' Seth Jones.

• Jones looked plenty confident on this play:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BH1Pn280aYw

• And just like that, Brian Rafalski's comeback attempt is over.

• Meet Joe Rogers, the goalie who overcame a daunting handicap to start for Notre Dame.

• Funding cuts doomed the men's hockey team at the University of British Columbia ... until Kevin Bieksa and the Canucks stepped up.

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