First, Todd White and Tim Kennedy cleared waivers at noon today. The Rangers can assign them to Hartford within 30 days without putting them through waivers again.
Second, Andrew Gross is reporting that John Tortorella said he can’t count on Vinny Prospal’s return. Of course his season, and thus his career, might be over. Tortorella said he will name a new alternate captain (pet peeve: it’s NOT ASSISTANT captain). Marian Gaborik? He wore the A in the preseason.
Third, Prospal and Chris Drury were placed on IR to start the season, getting the Rangers to the max 23-man roster; and under the salary cap.
Fourth, Derek Stepan — absolutely no surprise — won the Lars-Erik Sjoberg award as the outstanding rookie in camp.
Here’s that announcement from the Rangers:
DEREK STEPAN NAMED WINNER OF LARS-ERIK SJOBERG AWARD
Honor given to top rookie in Training Camp
New York, October 6, 2010 – Center Derek Stepan has been named the winner of the 2010 Lars-Erik Sjoberg Award, given to the best Rangers rookie in training camp, as voted on by the members of the media. Stepan played in five preseason games, registering three goals and two assists for five points. He tied for the team lead in goals, ranked first in shots (14), and tied for second in points. His one shorthanded goal was tied for the league lead.
Stepan, 20, was originally the Rangers second round choice, 51st overall, in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. Ranked 16th overall among NHL prospects by The Hockey News on their 2010 Future Watch list, he registered 12 goals and 42 assists for 54 points, along with eight penalty minutes in 41 games with the University of Wisconsin Badgers of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA). He established career-highs in games played, goals, assists, points and penalty minutes. Stepan ranked among the NCAA leaders in several scoring categories, finishing tied for first in the nation in assists and ranked second in points. He registered six points (two goals and four assists) in the 2010 NCAA Tournament, including a four-point performance (two goals and two assists) and the game-winning goal in the National Semifinal contest vs. R.I.T., to lead Wisconsin to the National Championship game.
Stepan served as Captain of Team USA at the 2010 World Junior Championship, leading the United States to their second Gold Medal (2004) in the elite tournament. He led all skaters in assists and points en route to being named to the tournament All-Star Team, as selected by the media. Stepan finished the tournament with four goals and 10 assists for 14 points in seven games.
The Lars-Erik Sjoberg Award was established in memory of Lars-Erik Sjoberg, who was one of the first European scouts to work with an NHL team and was influential in the drafting of twenty New York Rangers players. Previous winners include Matt Gilroy, Marc Staal, Henrik Lundqvist, Marc Savard, Tony Amonte and Mike Richter.
CORRECTION: Tortorella is not naming a new alternate captain; but somebody will wear the “A” in Prospal’s absence.