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Brad Richards might be back for Dallas Stars tonight

Brad Richards,  Patrick Sharp

Dallas Stars center Brad Richards (91) skates with the puck against Chicago Blackhawks center Patrick Sharp (10) during the first period of a NHL hockey game in Dallas, Friday, Feb. 11, 2011. (AP Photo/LM Otero)


After missing almost a month’s worth of games with concussion symptoms, it sounds like Brad Richards might be back for the Dallas Stars tonight, according to Defending Big D and other reports. Coach Marc Crawford said that he is “scheduled” to play against the Calgary Flames.

Richards missed 10 games with post-concussion syndrome, making the much-reported trade scenarios that much more complicated. Of course, Richards eventually needs to play or the Stars will look pretty silly for balking at a trade (at least if he leaves Dallas as many expect).

No doubt about it, Richards is the greatest offensive catalyst for this team. The Stars went 5-4-1 in his absence, although they’ve gone 5-0-1 after dropping their first four games without the world-class playmaker.

It might be best to consider Richards a “game-time decision” since there seemed to be at least an outside chance he might have a setback. Crawford sent some mixed messages about how Richards would be integrated, first saying “if he’s in, he’s in” but later admitting that he probably won’t receive his typical amount of ice time.

The fifth-place Stars have been playing well lately, but naturally would love to reinforce their team with Richards. The margin of error is paper-thin, so they must get him back into the lineup without missing a beat.