The latest Devils captain said he will live with any tarnish his reputation suffered unjustly over the last 50-games of his tenure in New Jersey.

Jamie Langenbrunner, a member of the Stars now, acknowledged that he has taken some blame for the Devils' struggles, starting last spring and continuing through the first half of this season. He waived his no-trade clause and was dealt for a possible second-round pick to Dallas Jan. 7, just before the Devils went on their current tear -- a 15-1-2 rampage after last night's 4-1 victory over Carolina.

"I pride myself on not being a distraction or source of conflict. If I get painted as a villain because of a situation where all the facts aren't out there, well, I'll fall on that sword," Langenbrunner told The Post.

"Because people put something out doesn't make it fact. I got painted as the bad guy. But, oh well," said Langenbrunner, who will face the Devils when they visit Dallas Tuesday.

He refused to disclose any of the issues he says were erroneously portrayed.

"It's part of being on a team. There are things that don't need to be aired," Langenbrunner said.

The issue erupted late last season after coach Jacques Lemaire told Langenbrunner to take a game off, ending his Iron Man streak, yet made him travel to watch the road game. Another version was that Lemaire asked Colin White to wear the "C" for the game Langenbrunner was to miss, but White refused, indicating the request was disrespectful to Langenbrunner.

Langenbrunner said he was asked in September to waive his no-trade clause and thinks he might have been better off agreeing then.

"It was discussed, waiving my no-trade, during training camp, before Jacques came back. It may be a decision I regret, letting it weigh on my mind," Langenbrunner said.

It's almost forgotten now, but the real reason general manager Lou Lamoriello asked Langenbrunner to waive his salary cap in September most likely was to find his way out of his salary cap fiasco that threatened forfeiture of games.