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Star Struck

Dallas Stars/NHL
Brad Richards, now a Dallas Star -- the hockey team, I believe
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Out here in Surprise, Arizona, it’s sunny and 82 degrees and far, far removed from hockey season. But back there, I hear the team I said never makes any noise actually made some noise, eh?

Not be totally muted by the Mavericks’ dramatic acquisition of Jason Kidd, the Stars traded for former Conn Smythe (playoff MVP) winner Brad Richards. Dallas had to part with backup goalie Mike Smith, Jussi Jokinen and Jeff Halpern. Seems like a lot to give up on a team in the midst of an 11-2 streak since the All-Star break, especially for a dude who has the league’s worst plus/minus ratio at -25.

But, look, I don’t pretend to be a puck-head. I leave that to the likes of ESPN analyst Barry Melrose, who last night tossed multiple bouquets Dallas’ way.

“They’re playing better than anyone in the NHL right now,” Melrose said. “And now they’re adding Richards? Watch out.”

Richards was the offensive catalyst behind Tampa Bay’s -- raise your hand if you remember it -- 2004 Stanley Cup championship. After last night’s win over St. Louis, the Stars are only five points behind Detroit for the league’s best record with 15 games remaining. More importantly, this Les Jackson-Brett Hull dual-GM thing is somehow working out. Hull has been promising to get Mike Modano a playoff-tested goal-scorer, and I’ll be damned if didn’t go out and get one. -Richie Whitt

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