Sports briefs for June 21, 2013

Posted June 21, 2013, at 5:55 p.m.

MMA’s Wetherbee gains preseason honor

CASTINE, Maine — Maine Maritime senior Bill Wetherbee of Veazie has been named to the Beyond Sports Network Division III Preseason All-America third team.

Wetherbee played in eight games last season and led the Mariners with 784 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. The senior was named was named to the NEFC Bogan Division first team and was named captain for the 2013 season.

Vigneault introduced as Rangers coach

The New York Rangers formally introduced Alain Vigneault as their new coach on Friday at Radio City Music Hall.

Vigneault is the Rangers 35th head coach in their 87-year history.

“It’s an Original Six (team). It’s got a chance to win,” Vigneault said as his press conference. “It’s one of the elite teams in my opinion in the NHL, and I want to win, so given the opportunity to come here, it was just something that I couldn’t turn down. There’s no better place than here to win a Stanley Cup.”

Vigneault agreed to five-year, $10 million contract.

Rangers president Glen Sather said there were initially 13 candidates for the job, but only Vigneault and Mark Messier were interviewed in person. Vigneault was also courted by the Dallas Stars, who ended up hiring Lindy Ruff.

It is not clear of Messier, who is a special advisor to Sather, will be back with the team.

Vigneault replaces John Tortorella, who was fired after five seasons. He was reportedly offered the Vancouver Canucks job Friday.

Canucks offer Tortorella coaching job

The Vancouver Canucks offered their head coaching job to John Tortorella on Friday and the two sides are close to a deal, according to the Winnipeg Free Press.

John Tortorella was fired as the New York Rangers coach after they were eliminated from the playoffs.

The Canucks recently fired Alain Vigneault, who took the Rangers job.

The Canucks are the only NHL team without a coach.

Ex-MLB star Dykstra released from prison

Former major-league outfielder Lenny Dykstra was released from a California prison after serving 61/2 months for bankruptcy fraud, multiple media outlets reported.

Dykstra, 50, walked out of Victorville Federal Correctional Complex on Thursday, according to TMZ.com.

He had been given a three-year sentence in 2012 for his involvement in an auto theft and had six months added to the sentence when he was convicted of bankruptcy fraud and money laundering.

He will be required to serve three years of supervised release, including 500 hours of community service. Dykstra must also enroll in a substance abuse program, submit to drug testing and pay $200,000 to his creditors, according to the TMZ.com report.

Dykstra played 12 major-league seasons for the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies. His last season was 1996.

Dykstra was a member of the National League All-Star team in 1990, 1994 and 1995, and he finished second in the National League MVP voting in 1993.

Carlos Lee announces retirement

Carlos Lee, who played for the Houston Astros and Miami Marlins last year, announced his retirement after 14 seasons in the majors, ESPNDeportes,com reported.

. Lee, 37, came up with the White Sox as a 23-year-old in 1999.

He played for the White Sox, Brewers, Rangers Astros, and Marlins. He was named to the All-Star team three times (2005, 2006, 2007) and had a career batting average of .285 with 358 home runs.

His best season was 2006, which is split between the Brewers and Rangers. Lee hit a combined .300 with 37 homers and 116 RBIs that year.

In 2012, he hit .264 with nine homers while playing 66 games for Houston and 81 for Miami.

Mechanical problem caused Leffler’s crash

New Jersey state police blamed a mechanical problem for the crash that killed NASCAR driver Jason Leffler last week, according to ESPN.

The police released some of its findings on Friday, but had not completed its investigation into the crash at Bridgeport Speedway in Logan Township on June 12.

The mechanical problem reportedly caused Leffler to spin out and slam into a concrete wall along the side of the track because he was unable to turn.

Though the report did not state how fast Leffler was driving, it did indicate that the cars in the dirt-track race were averaging 135 mph, including 150 mph on straightaways.

The cause of Leffler’s death was attributed to blunt-force neck injuries during the crash.

Leffler, 37, won two races on the NASCAR Nationwide Series circuit.

Stanley Cup averaging 5.356 million viewers

This year’s Stanley Cup finals are the most-watched through four games since at least 1994, according to the Nielsen Company.

The best-of-seven series, telecast on NBC, is averaging 5.356 million viewers.

The Chicago Blackhawks’ 6-5 overtime victory over the host Boston Bruins in Game 4 on Wednesday averaged 6.459 million viewers. That is the most of any Stanley Cup finals Game 4 since the introduction of People Meters in 1987.

Viewership of the game peaked at 8.192 million during overtime.

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