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What Brad Richards trade to Dallas Stars has wrought for Tampa Bay Lightning

There are not many trades that drive a general manager to tears, but that is what happened when then-Lightning GM Jay Feaster in February 2008 announced Brad Richards had been sent to the Stars.

Not only were Feaster and Richards close, but Feaster was dealing with prospective owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie, who, incredibly, were allowed by then-owner Palace Sports & Entertainment into the team's trade-deadline business.

It's not hard to figure that Feaster lost the argument about Richards, who was in Tampa two weeks ago for Dallas' 5-4 loss to the Lightning, the second time Richards played for the Stars in the building where he won the 2004 Stanley Cup and was named playoff MVP.

What did Tampa Bay get out of the Richards trade?

The deal sent the center and goaltender Johan Holmqvist to the Stars for goalie Mike Smith, forwards Jussi Jokinen and Jeff Halpern and a 2009 fourth-round draft pick.

Smith still is around and trying to establish himself as a No. 1. Halpern was traded to the Kings last season for Teddy Purcell and a 2010 third-round draft pick that turned into defenseman Brock Beukeboom.

The 2009 pick acquired from Dallas went to the Wild for the negotiating rights to Brian Rolston, whom the Lightning could not sign before 2008 free agency began.

Jokinen was traded in February 2009 to the Hurricanes for Wade Brookbank, Josef Melichar and a 2009 fourth-round draft pick that became part of a deal that sent goalie Olaf Kolzig and defensemen Jamie Heward and Andy Rogers to the Maple Leafs for defenseman Richard Petiot.

Brookbank, Melichar and Petiot are not with the organization. Jokinen has been a productive player for Carolina.

So, what did the Lightning reap from the trade? Smith; Purcell, who is a solid wing; and prospect Beukeboom.

The team also saved a lot of money by unloading Richards' five-year, $39 million contract, some of which surely went to sign defenseman Dan Boyle. But that is the start of a whole other story.

Damian Cristodero can be reached at cristodero@sptimes.com.

What Brad Richards trade to Dallas Stars has wrought for Tampa Bay Lightning 10/30/10 [Last modified: Saturday, October 30, 2010 10:56pm]
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