LEETCH AND RICHTER CAPTURE AWARDS: Rangers defenseman Brian Leetch and goaltender Mike Richter both received team awards for their performances during the 2001-2002 season. Richter, who has spent his entire 13-year career with New York, we selected as the team's Most Valuable Player as voted by the New York chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association and was the recipient of the Frank Boucher Trophy, signifying the most popular player on the team as voted by the Rangers Fan Club.
Leetch, the leading scorer on the team among defensemen with 54 points, received three honors. He was named as the winner of the Rangers Good Guy Award for cooperation with the media, and the Ceil Saidel Memorial Award for dedication to the organization both on and off the ice. Finally, Leetch captured the Players Player Award for the second consecutive season.
BLACKBURN NAMED RANGERS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Goaltender Dan Blackburn was named the Rangers Rookie of the Year for 2001-2002. Blackburn has appeared in each of the team's last eight matches and has won five consecutive games. On the season he has posted a 12-14-0 mark, along with a 3.17 goals against average and a .901 save percentage.
McCARTHY CAPTURES SECOND STRAIGHT STEVEN McDONALD AWARD: Rangers right wing Sandy McCarthy was honored prior to Monday's match vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins by being selected as the 2001-2002 winner of the Amtrak Acela Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award, given annually to the Rangers player who, as voted by the fans, has performed "above and beyond the call of duty."
It is the second consecutive season that McCarthy has been named the winner after being selected in his first year as Ranger last season. McCarthy has established a new career-high for points in one season this year, registering 23 (10 goals, 13 assists) while appearing in all 80 game strhus far this season.
Previous winners of the award include Mark Messier, Adam Graves, Wayne Gretzky, Tony Granato and John Vanbiesbrouck.