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The Somewhat Forgotten Redemption Tour of Brad Richards Started Last Night

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As Dale Hansen might say, Brenden Morrow will be hungry to return to NHL game action after suffering a season ending knee injury last November against Chicago, we already know that.

Afterall, Morrow carries the burden of the captaincy and as such, could be considered the unquestioned leader of this team. A role he clearly relishes.

And even if he wasn't, his style of play that is known to all Stars fans makes you quickly realize that deep down, Morrow's a rink rat. So being away from the rink for so long during the rehab after his right knee was surgically reconstructed had to be killing him.

We all know that.

And well all know how hungry he'll be to get back to form.

But dare I suggest, at the risk of saying something truly sacrilegious, there's another Stars player who had injury problems of his own last season that might make him hungrier than Morrow?

I'd give you a guess, but I figure the title of this post is going to give it away.

Anyway, here's my case for Brad Richards.

Last season, the Stars had a midseason resurgence that saw them rise from the ashes of a horrible start and the fallout from the shenanigans of Sean Avery in December. That resurgence was led by the play of Brad Richards, who scored 10 goals and picked up 17 assists from December 10th until he broke his right wrist on February 16th on a check from Jakub Voracek of the Blue Jackets in the second period of that game.

During the 28 game stretch before the injruy, the Stars went 16-9-3. 17-9-3 if you count the Columbus game in which Dallas won in a shootout. The Stars, of course, won the first full contest in which Richards was out against Edmonton to open up a season high six game homestand.

And then they dropped the next five. With the club falling out of playoff contention fast, Richards amped up his rehab and came back on March 21st at San Jose. That game turned into a disaster on the scoreboard as the Sharks obliterated the Stars, 5-2, after spotting Dallas a one goal lead.

It paled in comparison to what we learned after the game. Brad Richards had broken his other wrist on an innocuous hit in the third period, according to what he told Pierre LeBrun back in March.

"I mean, if you saw it, you'd laugh," Richards said. "It was so stupid. I just ran into some guy, my hand wasn't fully on my stick, and it twisted and bent down. Right away, I felt a pop. I thought I dislocated my knuckle or something. I was playing around with it on the bench, and it kept popping. I didn't really feel pain, I just couldn't grip my stick. Then, it gradually got worse. So I went into the room to see what was going on.

"Then we eventually found out it was a spiral fracture. It was pretty hard to fathom."

I'll fully admit that I don't have the first clue on how to mentally prepare from playing to learning that you've suffered an injury that will put you out for the year and will force you to go through an extensive and difficult rehab.

But I do know what it's like to suffer a setback in life, work hard to get back to that point only to suffer another setback to put you back at square one.

That's what Brad Richards had to go through last season. Not one, but two major rehabs in the course of just over 7 months.

And if last night's performance against Tampa Bay is any indication, he's been raring to get after it for quite some time.