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


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.”