GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- It's the trio the Rangers have been salivating over since the club acquired star winger Rick Nash in a blockbuster deal last summer:
Those three skated together in Thursday's "informal" session, which was almost identical to a normal Rangers practice. The only difference was that coach John Tortorella was watching from afar with the Rangers' brass instead of running practice from the middle of the ice. (Training camp cannot officially begin until the new CBA is ratified by all parties.)
I'm not a huge fan of predicting line combinations, but it's safe to assume that Tortorella will at least give Nash, Richards and Gaborik a shot together as the team's first line. Gaborik and Richards were split up plenty last year, though, so nothing is set in stone.
After all, training camp hasn't even started.
I won't be making a habit of doing this, but since all you hockey fans have suffered long enough without any puck talk, these were the four forward lines in practice: