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Richards ‘ready to start new and fresh’ with new coach

Brad Richards

New York Rangers’ Brad Richards in the third period of the NHL hockey game at Madison Square Garden in New York, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013. (AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams)


Brad Richards is confident he can bounce back from a 2013 season that saw the former Conn Smythe Trophy winner watching some of his team’s playoff games as a healthy scratch.

“I’m ready to start new and fresh and get back on track,” said Richards today, per the Rangers’ Twitter account.

“I lost myself a little bit last year. It was an uphill battle. I know I can play the game, its all up to me.”

Richards, 33, is entering the third year of a nine-year, $60 million contract in New York -- a contract that many thought the Rangers would buy him out of this summer.

Instead, the club fired head coach John Tortorella and hired Alain Vigneault as its new bench boss.

Per The Record’s Andrew Gross, Richards said today that he not only lost confidence in himself, he also lost confidence in his coach.

The Rangers still have a compliance buyout left, so it’s possible they could bid adieu to Richards next summer, if he fails to rediscover his old form.

There’s audio of Richards’ interview here.