The Rangers roster began to take full shape on Sunday and for the first time since training camp opened that roster included Derek Stepan.
The presumptive first-line center took part in a practice that lasted more than an hour days after signing his two-year $6.15 million deal. He centered a line with Brad Richards on the left — yes that Brad Richards who won a Conn Smythe trophy as a center — and Ryan Callahan on the right — yes that Ryan Callahan who still is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery but had been cleared for contact on Thursday.
“It’s been awhile to be back in the swing of things was something I was very happy with” said Stepan whose Rangers will open the season Thursday against the Coyotes in Phoenix part of a season-opening nine-game road trip. “My biggest objective is just to get back and be ready for Thursday.”
Stepan returned to a team that is quite different than it was during the latter part of the preseason which finished on Friday night in Las Vegas. ...