In this morning’s collection of NHL morning headlines: Is the Crosby vs Ovechkin rivalry already fading?…Cup finalists Bruins and Canucks off to slow starts…Predators build on a shoestring budget…Blues could have deal with a new owner by today…Isles awaiting Tavares offense…Avs rookie nets first NHL goal…NHL players get back escrow cash…The awesomeness that is “BizNasty2point0”.


Is the rivalry fading?

WASHINGTON TIMES: Dan Daly wonders if the much-vaunted rivalry between Washington’s Alexander Ovechkin and Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby may already be fading. Ovechkin’s dazzling offensive play appears in decline, while Crosby remains sidelined by a concussion suffered midway through last season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: While the decline in Ovechkin’s numbers and concern over Crosby’s health are justifiable concerns, it might be premature to assume the sizzle has gone out of the rivalry between the league’s two best players. 

NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: The 2011 Stanley Cup finalists Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks are off to slow starts to this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The dreaded “Stanley Cup Final hangover” is apparent with those two teams, but both are two talented to struggle for long. Both clubs will turn things around in the coming weeks.

THE TENNESSEAN: Josh Cooper analyzes how the Nashville Predators were able to rebuild their roster this off-season on the cheap.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s something GM David Poile and the Preds front office have been used to doing for some time. That they’ve been able to ice competitive rosters without spending up to the cap ceiling is impressive, but I can’t help but wonder how good a team the Preds could be if Poile had the financial resources to spend what was necessary to build this team into a true Cup contender.

STLTODAY.COM: The St. Louis Blues and Chicago businessman Matthew Hulsizer are reportedly close to signing a purchase agreement, which could be announced as early as today.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Thankfully for Blues fans, the sale of their club wasn’t something which dragged on and on, like the sale of the Dallas Stars, or of the Phoenix Coyotes, which Hulsizer had unsuccessfully attempted to purchase earlier this year.

NEW YORK POST: The NY Islanders are still waiting top forward John Tavares to find his scoring touch this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: When he does, it’ll be in a big way. Patience.

DENVER POST: Rookie Gabriel Landeskog netted his first NHL goal in the Colorado Avalanche’s 3-2 shootout win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

PHILLY.COM: NHL players will receive cheques tomorrow from the NHLPA, which will be a return of the escrow which was withheld from their pay last season.

TORONTO STAR: Dave Feshunk highlights the entertaining Twitter antics of Phoenix Coyotes left wing Paul Bissonnette, who goes by the handle “BizNasty2point0“.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bissonnette might not be well known for his play on the ice, but he is certainly among the most entertaining away from it. Check out his Twitter feeds and enjoy!