NHL Notes: Ex-Flyer Bobrovsky wins Vezina

NHL Notes: Ex-Flyer Bobrovsky wins Vezina
June 15, 2013, 7:30 pm
CSNPhilly.com/AP

Former Flyers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky won the Vezina Trophy Saturday.

Bobrovsky was 21-11-6 with a .923 save percentage and 2.00 goals against average. He started 37 games in his first season with the Blue Jackets, and took the starting job away from Steve Mason -- who was later traded to the Flyers.

The 24-year-old netminder nearly carried the Jackets into the playoffs. Columbus had 55 points and tied with the Wild, but tiebreakers gave Minnesota the eighth seed.

Bobrovsky was named the NHL’s First Star of the Week three times, and the Third Star of the Month of March. He’s also a finalist to be on the cover of EA Sports’ NHL 14.

He recorded four shutouts, his save percentage was the second highest in the league, and his GAA was fifth in the league.

The Flyers traded Bobrovsky to the Blue Jackets last year for a 2012 second- and fourth-round pick as well as a fourth-round choice in this year’s draft. Bobrovsky is a restricted free agent, and the Jackets are reportedly working on an extension.

Sharks goalie Antti Niemi and Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist were also finalists for the award.

Rangers: Vigneault to be head coach
The Rangers have reportedly found their new head coach.

According to ESPNNewYork.com, Alain Vigneault will be the new head coach. Vigneault was also being considered for the Dallas Stars’ vacancy, but reportedly told the Stars on Friday that he was taking the Rangers’ job.

The Canucks fired Vigneault after being swept by the Sharks in the first round of the playoffs. In his seven seasons as Vancouver’s bench boss, his teams won the Northwest division in all but one season, and finished No. 1 in the league in 2010-11 -- lost to the Bruins in the Stanley Cup -- and 2011-12.

Mark Messier was also being considered as a potential candidate to replace John Tortorella, who was fired after the Rangers lost to the Bruins in five games in the second round. Only two candidates had formal interviews with the Rangers.

Oilers: Missing prospect confirmed dead
EDMONTON, Alberta -- The Edmonton Oilers have confirmed that prospect Kristians Pelss has died. He was 20.

The Oilers released a statement Saturday saying the team was deeply saddened by the loss of Pelss, who went missing Tuesday and was feared drowned in a river near his home in Riga, Latvia.

Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish said in a statement: "This is the news we feared. Kristians was an outstanding man and we feel terrible he has left us at such a young age. I can't imagine how painful this situation is for the Pelss family."

Pelss arrived home in Riga on Monday after playing last season with Edmonton's top minor-league team, the Oklahoma City Barons of the American Hockey League.

He was drafted by the Oilers in the seventh round in 2010.

-The Associated Press

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