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Rangers audition Richards as top-line wing with Stepan, Nash

Sep 30, 2013, 11:26 AM EDT

Brad Richards AP

After a tough year under John Tortorella, many wondered how Brad Richards would fare under new Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault.

So far, it’s gone pretty well.

Richards is currently skating on New York’s new-look No. 1 line as a winger, playing with top center Derek Stepan and leading goalscorer Rick Nash, according to the New York Daily News.

“We’ve still got two guys out, and you’ve got three centers [Richards, Stepan and Derick Brassard] that want to play in offensive situations,” Richards explained. “I’m playing with Rick and Step, so hopefully we can get something going.

Down a pair of key wingers in captain Ryan Callahan and Carl Hagelin, the Rangers are turning to Richards — who did play some wing with the Bolts and Stars — to fill the void. While the 33-year-old struggled at times last season and was made a healthy scratch in the playoffs, there’s some belief he can rediscover his game after a busy offseason of training and a new opportunity, courtesy Vigneault.

“If it works, that means we’re staying,” Richards said of his partnership with Stepan and Nash. “And if we’re staying, that means it’s working.”

  1. xdj511 - Sep 30, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    Well, it certainly makes more sense than asking Stepan and Brassard who have both emerged as top offensive centermen to either move to the wing or take less ice time on the third line, so Richards will get his chance to prove he’s still useful as a winger. He has, what, two weeks until Hagelin is ready to go? I doubt he’ll be able to prove himself more valuable than Hagelin in that time, but it seems like the best option. After that he can be buried on the third or fourth line, or Reddened to Hartford altogether in preparation for being bought out this summer, and Alain can shrug his shoulders and say, well, we tried.

    • rangerfan917 - Sep 30, 2013 at 8:42 PM

      They did away with the redden rule with the new cba. You can no longer hide money in the AHL. If you meant just banishing him to the minors to get him off the major team they could do that but his money would still count toward the cap if he had a one way contract which, of course, Richards does.

  2. valoisvipers - Sep 30, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    I don’t know about everyone else but I have a hard time to believe that Brad Richards is washed up. I think he will bounce back this year, not to previous highs but a decent year by The Ranger’s standards.

  3. BSRadmin - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    I like Richards in this role Nash is constantly looking to pass could lead to nice goal numbers for Richards.

  4. President Charles Logan - Sep 30, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    Richards is washed up

  5. 950003cups - Sep 30, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    Richards is a great player. In wish I had him on my team. He’s be a great addition. He has a high cap hit, but that’s how it is when you’re a top talent. His grit, his clutch scoring, his proven leadership all should be noticed and not ignored! There’s a reason you all know the name Mike Richards!

    As for Brad Richards? He’s washed up. Waste of cap. Needs to hang them up.

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