Could the "Cold War" between two of the top talents in the NHL be over? Part of me hopes not, but if the words and images coming out of Montreal are any indication, Washington's Alex Ovechkin and Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin are going out of their way to give every indication that they've buried the hatchet -- and not in each other's backs either.
The above image of the two players shaking hands at a media availability in Montreal earlier today was sent to us via Dmitry Chesnokov of Sovetsky Sport. He's been on the horn all day long with his Sovetsky colleague, Pavel Lysenkov. According to Lysenkov's reports that Chesnokov has passed along to me, Ovechkin and Malkin shared a polite and private handshake, one that they recreated for Lysenkov at his urging. The translation of their conversation is after the jump.
Pavel Lysenkov (PL): Yevgeni Malkin told me that you spoke before, shook each other's hands, what's happening now?
Alex Ovechkin (AO): "Yes, that's true."
PL: This is just stupid. You have to agree. It's been two years now.
AO: "We didn't really have a feud..."
PL: Well, then can you go and shake his hand now and take a picture?
AO: "Yes, of course I can. Evgeni! Come over here!"
Earlier today, a similar picture snapped by Slava Malamud from Russia's Sport-Expressappeared over at Capitals Insider, but Chesnokov and Lysenkov assure me that their picture was snapped first.
In any case, as I wrote earlier, it seems like Ovechkin and Malkin have tired of their feud, which has to be considered a downer for hockey fans. Heck, it was a little more than a week ago that league observers were breaking out in sweats over the fact that there hadn't been a rift this big in the league between two star players since Gordie Howe and Maurice Richard let the hate out back in the 1950s. Now, thanks to the hand shake, things are a little less interesting. Well, until Ovechkin drills Malkin again.
Peace Breaks Out Between Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin originally appeared on NHL FanHouse on Fri, 23 Jan 2009 18:37:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.