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Tampa Bay Lightning trade forward Brad Richards to Dallas Stars @NHLdotcom

DALLAS - The Dallas Stars are loading up for a run at the Stanley Cup.

The Stars have acquired forward Brad Richards and goalie Johan Holmqvist from the Tampa Bay Lightning for goaltender Mike Smith, forwards Jussi Jokinen and Jeff Halpern and a fourth-round pick in 2009.

Richards had to waive a no-movement clause to complete the move.

The 27-year-old won the Stanley Cup with Tampa Bay in 2004 and captured the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.

"Brad is a difference-maker and one of the premier playmakers in the National Hockey League," Dallas co-GM Les Jackson said in a statement. "He is in the prime of his playing career and a proven winner who has elevated his game to the highest levels in the playoffs."

Richards was drafted by the Lightning in 1998 and had spent his entire career in the organization. With the team struggling this season, he figured something was coming.

"I think the writing's been on the wall for a while that things aren't going to fit in Tampa and I knew that," he said. "When the opportunity came up this week and I saw a city and an organization like Dallas, it was right there on the table.

"(Lightning GM) Jay Feaster was really professional with me and helped me out."

In 552 career games with the Lightning, Richards has 489 points (150-339). He'll earn US$7.8 million each of the next three seasons.

Holmqvist has a 20-16-6 record this season with a 3.01 goals-against average and .890 save percentage. Smith is 12-9-0 with a 2.46 GAA and a .906 save percentage.

Jokinen has 28 points (14-14) in 52 games this season while Halpern has 24 points (10-14) in 64 games.

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