The Brad Richards trade: After Mike Smith's departure, what is left for the Tampa Bay Lightning?
We have gone through this before, but with Mike Smith bolting for the Coyotes and a two-year, $4 million deal to be that team's No. 1, thought it would be interesting to look back at the Brad Richards trade to the Stars and see, through all the permutations, what is left of that deal for the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Here was the original deal from February 2008, a trade GM Jay Feaster was forced to make under pressure from incoming owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie: Richards, the MVP of the team's 2004 Stanley Cup run, and goaltender Johan Holmqvist to Dallas for Smith, forwards Jussi Jokinen and Jeff Halpern and a 2009 fourth-round draft pick.
(The amazing thing about the Koules-Barrie involvement was they would not actually take over the team until June. But owner Palace Sports & Entertainment gave them access to the inner workings, and they certainly flexed their muscles, but that's another story.)
Anyway, Smith left as an unrestricted free agent for no return, and the the draft pick was sent to the Wild for the negotiating rights to Brian Rolston, whom the Lightning could not sign before the 2008 free-agent period. So, no return there, either.
Jokinen was traded in February 2009 by GM Brian Lawton to the Hurricanes for Wade Brookbank, Josef Melichar and a 2009 fourth-round draft pick that became part of a March 2009 deal that sent goalie Olaf Kolzig and defensemen Jamie Heward and Andy Rogers to the Maple leafs for defenseman Richard Petiot.
Brookbank and Melichar are no longer with the organization. Petiot was re-signed this month as a free agent, but since he had a stint with the Oilers organization in between, he does not count in this discussion.
Halpern was traded by Lawton to the Kings in March 2010 for Teddy Purcell and a 2010 third-round draft pick that turned into defensive prospect Brock Beukeboom, who last season was traded to the Blues by GM Steve Yzerman in the deal for defenseman Eric Brewer.
So, after all the permutations, what did the Lightning reap from trading Richards? Purcell, a budding star at right wing, and Brewer, the cornerstone of the defense.
Was it worth it?