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Names, numbers, skeds out next week and a draft party

 

 

                   With iced coffee at hand, was trolling through some end-of-season stats this morning and culled some that may have been overlooked.

                  Did you know that Dan Girardi's 180 blocked shots were eight more than Anton Volchenkov and nine fewer than Chris (Mr. Quotable) Pronger? The Sens UFA did play in 18 fewer games, but....

                  Rookie G Chad Johnson surprised us last year with his poised play and I'll be interested in seeing another college kid about the same size (6-3),  free agent Cameron Talbot out of the University of Alabama-Huntsville, in camp. He was tied for sixth in the NCAA in save percentage...

                  Tampa's Steve Yzerman really should push to re-sign underrated D Kurtis Foster (23 power-play assists, same as Ovechkin)...

                  Niclas Bergfors, sent to Atlanta by Devils in Kovalchuk trade, led all rookies in shots (217), had 21 goals (six game-winners), was sixth in rookie assists with 23...With him, Evander Kane and the No. 8 overall in next weekend's draft, they've got upside there...

                 Out West, two rookies made some noise: L.A.'s Scott Parse (a plus-13) and Anaheim's Matt Beleskey each had 11 goals in 59 and 60 games, respectively....

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               We've already been all over the Vladimir Tarasenko issue here before and after  the two mock drafts, and  yesterday's comment from Gordie Clark that the Rangers were having another face-to-face interview with him, adds fuel to the fire.  So does the report about another guy I've mentioned as a possible target: Nathan Horton, the 25 year old center from Florida who is expected to be traded before this no-trade kicks in July 1.  He's got three years left with a $4 mil cap hit...20 goals, 57 points in 65 games on a team lacking in firepower...Rangers should be in on this....

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                Reminder: NHL regular-season schedules officially released next Tuesday, June 22.

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                I'll be in Lost Angeles for the draft next Thursday-Friday-Saturday, so if you really want all the breaking news and rumors, follow me at twitter.com/stevezipay and here, of course, the father-ship.

               If you're in the NYC area, you also could attend the team's FREE draft viewing party with Nick Fotiu and the Blueshirts' three top picks from last summer: Chris Kreider, Ethan Werek and Ryan Bourque, at The Hill (416 Third Ave, between 29th and 30th) next Friday night at 6:30. Told there will be prizes and giveaways. And as honorary (unpaid) deputy correspondents for Blue Notes, you can report back to me on the three prospects. Such a deal, huh?

 

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