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12-13-2012, 04:03 PM
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June 16, 2013

Several Columbus Blue Jackets made the trip to Las Vegas this weekend for the annual NHL Awards ceremony including rookie captain Ryan Murray, "Rocket" Richard winner R.J. Umberger, and star defenseman James Wisniewski.

Rookie captain Ryan Murray won the Calder Memorial Trophy, awarded for the rookie of the year, despite being the lowest scoring finalist. The other 2 finalists were Dougie Hamilton of the Boston Bruins and Chris Kreider of the New York Rangers. Media personalities we talked to said that, despite the relative lack of offense, they were thoroughly impressed with Ryan Murray's defensive game and his smart, simple, and effective play.

It was well known before the awards ceremony that R.J. Umberger had won his first ever NHL Award, but that didn't stop the big man from making an emotional speech thanking his family, teammates, management, and everyone else who helped him along the way. With the exception of Brian Burke, whom many speculate still has hard feelings towards him, everyone in the audience gave him a standing ovation as he left the stage.

James Wisniewski was the final Columbus award finalist of the evening, nominated for the Bill Masterton trophy for perseverance and dedication to the sport of hockey. The fiery defenseman looked as shocked as anyone when it was announced that he had won the award with St. Louis center Marc Savard and Philadelphia defenseman Chris Pronger, both of whom played after suffering significant concussions that nullified their seasons last year, standing beside him. Wisniewski finished 7th amongst defensemen in scoring with 13 goals and 43 points and also finished 7th in the league in the +/- category despite playing for a sub-.500 team.

"I'm so proud of these three fine men," GM Mackenzie stated. "Everyone on our team is extremely proud to call these guys teammates and we hope to build on what we were able to accomplish this season."

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