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Top Line: Latest on Kesler, St. Louis trade buzz; hits gone wrong; more links

Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks is the subject of NHL trade rumors. Being stripped of his A is one reason that Ryan Kesler wants out of Vancouver. (Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)

By Allan Muir

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

• There were reports, counter-reports and no-comments galore once word of Ryan Kesler's trade request went public late last night. Jason Botchford examines some of the reasons why the big center wants out of Vancouver.

• Tony Gallagher says that a Kesler deal might be just the start for a Canucks team that's in need of a serious overhaul.

Martin St. Louis needs to let go of his bruised feelings and focus on his obligations to team and teammates, says the very sensible Gary Shelton. Meanwhile, the buzz suggests that the Lightning's captain will accept a trade to only one team: the Rangers.

• With trade rumors swirling internally as well as externally, the Blueshirts are trying to maintain their focus for the stretch run. Hey, good luck with that during the next week.

A little truth is going a long way in Buffalo. No matter how this trade deadline plays out, writes Bucky Gleason, new GM Tim Murray has earned the trust of the Sabres faithful with his forthright appraisal of where the team is and what has to be done.

• I'm guessing that this hip check didn't go quite as well as Alex Edler planned. Jordan Nolan had a bit of trouble with his timing as well.

• Investments made by the Blue Jackets in local infrastructure have turned Columbus into an elite hockey city.

• The modern-day Vancouver vs. Ottawa match-up isn't doing much to move tickets to this weekend's outdoor Heritage Classic game, but that doesn't change the fact that the origins of this rivalry changed the way the game was played forever.

• Hockey fans in Washington state wouldn't be the only winners if the NHL ever made its way to Seattle. There would be real economic benefits for some hockey fans in British Columbia, too.

• Injuries are threatening to derail the Penguins' promising season, and with little cap space there's not much that GM Ray Shero can do about it.

• There's one good reason to trade Jaromir Jagr before the deadline: To turn a rapidly depreciating asset into something with a little longer shelf life. Randy Miller counters with 10 reasons why the Devils should hold on to the aging veteran.

A trip to Milwaukee is all that stands between Pekka Rinne and a return to action with the Predators.

Dave Bolland suffered a setback in his recovery from a leg injury and won't be in the lineup tonight as the Maple Leafs return to action against the Islanders. He is, however, feeling good enough about himself to issue one of the most insane contract demands ever.

• Figuring out what to do with Bolland is only one of the tough decisions that the Leafs must make during the next week.

• Missing out on the Olympics might have been the best thing for Bobby Ryan. Here's why.

• This golden girl might not be ready to hang up her skates after all.
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