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.
The World Cup of Hockey 2004 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.RELATED LINKS:Lundqvist Named to Sweden's World Cup Roster >> Jagr Named to Czech Republic World Cup Team >>