A review of his contract might lead one to call him "Richie Rich," except Brad Richards is every bit a lunch pail pro with as much of a blue-collar approach to his work as anyone in the Rangers' room, if not the NHL.

He's a star, an upper-echelon player whose presence and sense of professionalism have elevated the Blueshirts on and off the ice; a star, after dropping the capital "S" upon leaving Dallas for New York this summer as a free agent.

"It's nobody's fault that I left [the Stars], it was my decision and I take full accountability for it," said Richards, who will face his former team tonight at the Garden. "The three [full] years I was there, we didn't make the playoffs, and the organization wasn't spending the money that six, seven or eight other teams were in the tough Western Conference.