In today’s collection of notable NHL morning headlines: The Rangers split up their top line…Blues take another step toward getting a new owner…Update on Mike Green’s injury…Jason Blake hopes to recover from wrist injury faster than anticipated…Coyotes acquire O’Reilly from Predators.


Off the Rangers top line.

NEW YORK POST: Rangers head coach John Tortorella has decided to split up first liners Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik for the Blueshirts game this afternoon against the Ottawa Senators.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The thinking was Richards would click with Gaborik, with one of the game’s elite playmakers setting up one of the elite goalscorers, but it hasn’t worked out as expected, as Richards has gone scoreless in his last three games, while Gaborik has only one point over the same period. That doesn’t mean they stay separated for the rest of the season, but they do appear to be lacking chemistry early in the season.

STLTODAY.COM: The Blues and businessman Matthew Hulsizer have signed a purchase agreement Friday, drawing the two sides one step closer toward Hulsizer’s taking over ownership of the team.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The league will eventually have to approve this deal, but it appears as though sale of the Blues to Hulsizer is pretty much a foregone conclusion.

WASHINGTON POST: Capitals GM George McPhee said he doesn’t believe defenseman Mike Green’s twisted right ankle to be a long-term concern. Green suffered the injury on October 22 against the Detroit Red Wings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s believed Green will be back in the lineup by next weekend.

MERCURYNEWS.COM: Former San Jose Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov won’t be facing off against his former club when the NY Islanders meet the Sharks today. Nabokov will miss today’s game to a lower-body injury, suffered during the Islanders shootout loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins earlier this week.

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Anaheim Ducks forward Jason Blake is hoping to return sooner than expected from the wrist surgery required earlier this month to repair tendon damage after it was sliced by the skate blade of Sharks defenseman Brent Burns.

ARIZONA REPUBLIC: The Phoenix Coyotes yesterday acquired center Cal O’Reilly from the Nashville Predators in exchange for a fourth round pick in 2012.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Coyotes GM Don Maloney admitted he didn’t believe holdout center Kyle Turris would re-sign with the club before December 1st, after which he’d be ineligible to play this season. This move was done to provide additional depth at center for the Coyotes, though Maloney left the door open for Turris to return. The Coyotes GM has insisted he won’t trade Turris. As for the Predators, this move was made to clear a roster spot for forward Martin Erat, who is returning from injury.