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Good Afternoon

Where Lundqvist, Torts, NYRs finished in awards voting...

Just scanned the tallies from the NHL awards in Las Vegas...Henrik Lundqvist finished fourth in the voting for the Vezina Trophy with 23 points. He had eight fifth place votes in the points system. Winner Tim Thomas had 104 points. Lundqvist also finished 14th in the MVP numbers with 19 points. Corey Perry and Daniel Sedin were the runaway 1-2 with 1,043 and 960.

John Tortorella placed ninth in the Jack Adams voting for coach of the year with 9 points. Winner Dan Byslma had 196.

Ryan Callahan was 10th in Selke voting with 51 points. Ryan Kesler had 1,179. Callahan finished slightly ahead of luminaries such as Brooks Laich, Henrik Zetterberg, Tomas Plekanec and Claude Giroux.  Brian Boyle had seven points (1 second place vote).

Derek Stepan was 13th in the Calder rookie voting based on two fourth-place votes; Mike Sauer had one fifth-place vote.


Schedule release today early afternoon.  The mid-October Western Canada trip includes, as surmised here weeks ago (if you've been reading) a visit to Winnipeg.  Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver included on the swing.


Some fine steak, salad, sides last evening at Manny's in downtown Minny. Among the folks there at some point in the evening: Bill Guerin and Richard Park. 

Here's my piece in today's Newsday on Stepan...

MINNEAPOLIS, MN.---When the Rangers visit Citizen’s Bank Ballpark for the Winter Classic against the Flyers on Jan. 2, several young Rangers will bring some outdoor game experience with them.
Minnesota natives Derek Stepan and Ryan McDonagh were teammates when the Wisconsin Badgers defeated Michigan 3-2 in 20-degree weather at Madison’s Camp Randall Stadium against Michigan on Feb. 6, 2010 before 55,000 fans. Another collegian in that game, Wolverines captain Carl Hagelin, signed a contract with the Rangers in April, skated in the AHL playoffs and will be at training camp in September.
“It was super cold, but you adjust,” Stepan, 21, who recorded two assists in the win and will be a guest at Friday’s draft with McDonagh and another Minnesota native on the Rangers, defenseman Michael Sauer. “We had two late power plays,” said Stepan, a center who scored 21 goals and 45 points in his NHL rookie season. “If we’re in Philly, it will be a lot of fun.”
Stepan, who lives in Lakeville, about 30 minutes from St. Paul, has been skating and working out for about three weeks with several players, including the Sabres’ Drew Stafford.
“I took a break because after we lost in the playoffs,” Stepan said yesterday, “we had a few days off and then I went straight to Slovakia,” where he joined the U.S. team for the World Championships. Stepan had two goals and five assists in seven games as the U.S. lost in the quarterfinals.
For Stepan, who was chosen 51st overall by the Rangers out of Shattuck-St. Mary’s High School in the 2008 draft in Ottawa, watching the selections live will be special. Will he sit at the draft table with the Blueshirt brass? “I don’t know, I don’t think they need my advice,” he said yesterday.
Remember, Stepan advised, “I didn’t even go in 2008. I went to the combine, and it seemed I wasn’t going to go until the fourth or fifth round. I had to be back to Madison for training and stayed home and told (Badger) coach (Mike Eaves) I’d be there. I watched the first round Friday night on TV, and then on Saturday, I watched some while eating breakfast and didn’t really find out ‘til later. Now looking back, I wish I would have gone.”

Notes & Quotes

Due to the continuing construction at Madison Square Garden, the Rangers won’t play their home opener until Oct. 27 against the Leafs, the team said. The season openers are in Stockholm on Oct. 7 and 8, against the Ducks and Kings, followed by a Western Canada road trip.



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