The latest on Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin, Steven Stamkos, Rick Nash, Anze Kopitar, Eric & Jordan Staal, Daniel Briere, Sergei Bobrovsky and more.

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Penguins captain Sidney Crosby looks forward to re-starting his career after being sidelined for part of the last two seasons by injuries.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It may be a shortened season, but Crosby’s health will remain an issue of concern for Penguins fans. If he gets through this season and the playoffs without suffering another concussion or neck injury, it’ll go a long way for him and his fans to finally put these concerns in the past.

WASHINGTON POST: Capitals owner Ted Leonsis will allow captain Alexander Ovechkin to participate in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics regardless of whether or not the NHL allows its players to participate.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s not like Leonsis has much choice. Ovechkin has publicly stated, more than once, he’d play for Russia’s Men’s Olympic hockey team in 2014 even if the Capitals forbade him or the NHL opted not to participate in those games, regardless of the consequences. Rest assured, the NHL doesn’t want any negative publicity or problems with their Russian stars by not participating in those games. NHL players will take part in the Sochi Games.

Stamkos bulked up for this season.

Stamkos bulked up for this season.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning superstar Steven Stamkos enters this season having packed on 17 pounds of muscle during the long off-season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stamkos’ off-season trainer is former NHL star and fitness fanatic Gary Roberts, who is gaining a favorable reputation for working with NHL stars to improve their strength and conditioning. That’s one reason Stamkos has emerged so quickly as an NHL scoring star.

USA TODAY: Rick Nash is looking forward to his first season with the New York Rangers.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Kings star Anze Kopitar is making steady improvement in his recovery from a knee sprain, but isn’t expected to be ready for the team’s home opener on Saturday against Chicago.

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Carolina Hurricanes brothers Eric and Jordan Staal are excited about playing together for the first time in the NHL. Jordan was dealt to the Hurricanes last June.

CSNPHILLY.COM: Flyers star Daniel Briere is expected to be placed on “non-roster/injured” to open the season, owing to a wrist injury suffered in Germany during the lockout.

COLUMBUS DISPATCH: New Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky has impressed his new teammates so far with his work ethic.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Goaltending has been a problem for the Blue Jackets over the past three seasons. They’ll be counting upon Bobrovsky to turn that around.

MIAMI HERALD: The Florida Panthers are expected to sign free agent forward Alex Kovalev to a one-year contract today.

CSNCHICAGO: Blackhawks pest Dan Carcillo is ready to hit the ice after a long layoff recovering from knee surgery.