TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired goaltender Mike Smith, center Jeff Halpern, left wing Jussi Jokinen and a fourth-round pick at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft from the Dallas Stars in exchange for center Brad Richards and goaltender Johan Holmqvist, Executive Vice President & General Manager Jay Feaster announced.
"Trading Brad Richards was one of the most difficult moves I have made as manager of this hockey club,” Feaster said. “However, as we have discussed for some time now, we need to address our goaltending situation and we have been targeting Mike Smith for the past two seasons. We would not have given up a player and a leader such as Brad unless we were getting outstanding value in return and we feel that Mike, as well as Jeff and Jussi, certainly meet that objective. It is very difficult to say goodbye to Brad and Holmer, however, we feel strongly that we have improved our hockey team now and going forward with this transaction."
Smith, a 6-foot-3, 211-pound native of Kingston, Ontario, has appeared in 21 games with Dallas this season and posted a 12-9-0 record with a .906 save percentage and a 2.46 save percentage. He was named the NHL’s Third Star of the Week for the week of November 19-25 after posting a 3-0-0 record with a .963 save percentage and a 1.00 goals-against average.
The native of Kingston, Ontario was named to the 2006-07 NHL All-Rookie team last season after posting a 12-5-2 record with a .912 save percentage and a 2.23 save percentage. He was the first goaltender in Dallas history to record a shutout in his first NHL game on October 21 at Phoenix. He was twice named the NHL’s Third Star of the Week (2/12, 11/26).
The 25-year-old has played in 44 career NHL games with a 24-14-2 record. He has a career .909 save percentage, a 2.34 goals-against average and five shutouts. He was drafted by Dallas in the fifth-round, 161st overall, in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft.
Halpern, a 6-foot, 203-pound center, has played in 64 games with Dallas this season while averaging 16:21 of ice time per contest. He has recorded 10 goals, 24 points, one power play goal and one shorthanded goal this season. He recorded his 100th career goal on November 26 and his 250th career point on December 23.
The native of Potomac, Maryland has played in 578 career games with Washington and Dallas and recorded 105 goals, 263 points, 22 power play goals and 19 game-winning goals. He served as the captain for the Capitals in 2005-06. He is a veteran of 24 career Stanley Cup Playoff games with six goals and 12 points.
He represented the United States in the 2004 World Cup and played in four games.
Halpern was signed as a free agent by Washington on March 30, 1999 before being signed by Dallas as a free agent on July 5, 2006.
Jokinen, 5-11, 190-pounds, is in his third season with the Stars and has played in 52 games. He has 14 goals and 28 points with five power play goals this season. He recorded his first career hat trick with four goals November 16 vs. Colorado, making his the first Stars player since Brett Hull to net four in a single game.
A native of Kalajoki, Finland, Jokinen is a veteran of 215 NHL games with 45 goals and 131 points. He led the league in shootout goals with 10 on 13 attempts in 2005-06. He is 17-for-29 in shootouts during his career.
Jokinen played four seasons with Karpat of the Finnish Elite League from 2001-05. He accumulated 216 games played, 62 goals and 138 points in his Finnish career.
He was drafted by Dallas in the sixth round, 192nd overall, in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft.