Caps' Carey Voted League's Top Goalie

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TORONTO - Jim Carey, Vezina Trophy winner, groom. Kinda has a nice ring to it.

The 23-year-old goaltender for the Washington Capitals was honored as the best goalie in the NHL at the league's 1995-96 banquet yesterday. Two weeks from now he will get married in Minnesota. All in all, a pretty good month.

After finishing runner-up in Vezina and Calder (top rookie) balloting last season, Carey didn't like the prospects of being a best man again. This time he's the groom in more ways than one.

"It's a great honor to win this award," Carey said. "I put pressure on myself to do well. I didn't want to be a one-year wonder."

Carey earned 52 voting points to edge Chris Osgood of the Detroit Red Wings (46 points) and Daren Puppa of the Tampa Bay Lightning (34 points). Carey received five of 26 first-place votes.

"This sets up more pressure and expectations for the future," Carey said. "But I'm a goalie, I like pressure like that."

Mario Lemieux of the Pittsburgh Penguins won the Hart Memorial Trophy as the MVP to his team. He outdistanced Mark Messier of the New York Rangers by a wide margin. Eric Lindros of the Philadelphia Flyers was third.

Other award winners were:

Chris Chelios of the Chicago Blackhawks won his third James Norris Trophy as the top defenseman.

Daniel Alfredsson of the Ottawa Senators won the Calder Memorial Trophy as the top rookie.

Scotty Bowman of Detroit won the Jack Adams Award as top coach.

Sergei Fedorov of Detroit won his second Frank J. Selke Trophy as the top defensive forward.

Paul Kariya of the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim won the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy for sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct.

The recently retired Gary Roberts of the Calgary Flames won the Bill Masterton Trophy for perseverance and dedication.

Kris King of the Winnipeg Jets won the King Clancy Memorial Trophy for contribution to the community.

Osgood and Mike Vernon shared the William M. Jennings Trophy for the fewest goals-against average.

The all-star team consisted of Lemieux, Jagr, Kariya, Chelios, Bourque and Carey. The second team consisted of Leetch, Osgood, Lindros and teammate John LeClair, Vancouver Canucks' Alexander Mogilny and Detroit's Vladimir Konstantinov.

Carey, who will buy an off-season home with his new bride in Tampa Bay this summer, lumped most of the credit for winning the Vezina on his teammates. …