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Jagr, Kasparaitis, Lundqvist Named to World Cup Rosters

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers

Three members of the New York Rangers organization (Jaromir Jagr - Czech Republic, Darius Kasparaitis - Russia and Henrik Lundqvist - Sweden have now been selected by their respective nations to participate in the World Cup of Hockey 2004, which will feature eight of the top hockey nations in the world competing for the international hockey crown from August 30 through September 14, 2004.

Defending champion of the inaugural 1996 World Cup and 2002 Olympic silver medalist United States will be joined by 2002 Olympic gold medal-winner Canada, Russia and Slovakia in the North American pool. The Czech Republic, winners of the 1998 Olympic gold medal, Finland, Germany and Sweden will compete in the European pool.

Kasparaitis Press Release >>
Jagr Press Release >>
Lundqvist Press Release >>

Kasparaitis Named to Russia’s World Cup Roster
June 1, 2004 - Darius Kasparaitis became the third Ranger to be selected to participate in the upcoming World Cup of Hockey 2004 when he was named to Team Russia’s roster earlier today.

Kasparaitis joins Jaromir Jagr (Czech Republic) and Henrik Lundqvist (Sweden) as Blueshirt players selected by their respective countries to participate in the tournament.

The 6-0, 215-pound blueliner has worn several national team jerseys during his career (USSR, CIS, Lithuania, Russia), participating in numerous international tournaments. He captured a gold medal with the Unified Team at the 1992 Winetr Olympics in Albertville, France. He was also a key member of Russia’s silver medal finish at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan and Russia’s bronze medal squad at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. Kasparaitis collected two assists for Team Russia at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey. The defenseman also participated in two World Junior Championships (1991 – silver, 1992 – gold) and two World Championships (1992, 1996).

From 1988-89 to 1992-93, Kasparaitis suited up for Dynamo Moscow of the Russian Elite League, recording 17 points (three goals, 14 assists) and 32 penalty minutes in 59 career matches.

The Elektrenai, Lithuania native appeared in 44 matches with New York last season, registering one goal and nine assists for 10 points, along with 48 penalty minutes before suffering a season-ending left knee injury on January 19, 2004 at Boston. In addition to his knee injury, Kasparaitis also underwent surgery to perform a re-section of his right clavicle on March 24, 2004. He signed with the Rangers as a free agent on July 2, 2002.

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Jagr Named to Czech Republic World Cup Team
May 25, 2004 - Team Czech Republic announced its roster for the World Cup of Hockey 2004 during a press conference in Prague, Czech Republic earlier today. Named to the squad was Rangers forward Jaromir Jagr.

Jagr joins Sweden's Henrik Lundqvist as Blueshirt players selected by their respective countries to participate in the tournament.

Jagr, 32, has represented the Czech Republic and Czechoslovakia in eight international events, including the Olympics (1998, 2002), the World Cup (1996), the Canada Cup (1991), World Championship (1990, 2002, 2004) and World Junior Championship (1990).

The native of Kladno, Czech Republic was acquired by the Rangers from the Washington Capitals on January 22, 2004 in exchange for Anson Carter. In 31 games with the Blueshirts last season, Jagr recorded 29 points (15 goals, 14 assists).

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Lundqvist Named to Sweden's World Cup Roster
May 17, 2004 - One week after concluding his stellar World Championship performance, resulting in a silver medal, Rangers goaltending prospect Henrik Lundqvist today was named to Sweden's roster for the World Cup of Hockey 2004 tournament.

The Are, Sweden native is one of three netminders named to the team, joining Colorado's Tommy Salo and Toronto's Mikael Tellqvist. He is also one of only two players on the roster who did not compete at the National Hockey League level last season, the other being Jörgen Jönsson, a former NHLer who skated with Färjestads of the Swedish Elite League in 2003-04.

Lundqvist, viewed by many as one of the top goaltending prospects in the world, recently filled the role as Sweden's number one netminder in the World Championship and did not disappoint. The 22-year old posted a 5-1-2 record in eight games, registering one shutout. His 1.64 goals against average ranked third among all goaltenders and his .925 save percentage was sixth. Lundqvist's 476:14 minutes of action also ranked second among all tournament players, with his only loss coming in the gold medal game.

Lundqvist was named to the Media All-Star Team as well as one of Sweden's top three players as selected by the tournament coaches. He was also selected as Sweden's top player in their 1-1 tie with Finland on April 30.

Prior to the 2004 World Championship, the 22-year old represented Sweden in numerous international tournaments over the last few seasons. In 2000, he appeared in four matches for Sweden at the 2000 Under-18 World Junior Championship, posting a 2.25 goals against average and a .939 save percentage. Between 2001 and 2002, Lundqvist appeared in 14 games with Sweden at the Under-20 World Junior Championships. In 2003, he tended Sweden's goal for three games at the 2003 World Championship in Finland.

This past season the 6-1, 187-pound netminder appeared in 48 matches with Västra Frölunda, posting a 2.17 goals against average and a .927 save percentage. In 10 post-season matches with the club, Lundqvist posted a 1.97 goals against average and a .936 save percentage as Västra Frölunda fell to HV 71 in the Swedish Elite League semifinals.

In 2002-03, Lundqvist helped guide Västra Frölunda to the Swedish Elite League championship, while being named the Swedish Elite League's Junior of the Year in 2001-02.

Lundqvist was New York's seventh selection, 205th overall, in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft.
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