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Stars Acquire Brad Richards From Tampa Bay

by Dallas Stars Staff / Dallas Stars

2004 Conn Smythe & Lady Byng Winner Comes to Big D

FRISCO, Tex. – The Dallas Stars announced today that the club has acquired Brad Richards and goaltender Johan Holmqvist from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for center Jeff Halpern, forward Jussi Jokinen, goaltender Mike Smith and a 2009 fourth round draft choice.

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“Brad is a difference-maker and one of the premier playmakers in the National Hockey League,” said Co-General Manager Les Jackson. “At 27 years of age, 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. Johan Holmqvist is a reliable NHL goaltender and somebody that we will be confident in each time he is in net. It was difficult to part ways with Jeff, Jussi and Mike, since they are all consummate professionals who have done great things for our organization. Tampa Bay is getting a solid trio of players and we thank them for all they did for the Dallas Stars.”

“We are thrilled to acquire Brad Richards, a top-line talent who can play with any combination of line-mates,” said Co-General Manager Brett Hull. “His Conn Smythe Trophy as MVP of the 2004 playoffs shows he is capable of great things in the postseason. He is certainly a major addition to our group.”

Richards, 27, has appeared in 62 games with Tampa Bay this season, posting 18 goals and 33 assists for 51 points with nine power play goals and four game-winners. Among Lightning team leaders, he ranks tied for first in power play goals, second in shots (228), third in assists, fourth in goals and fourth in points. Having currently played in 342 straight games, he has only missed two games over his career.

The 6-0, 192-pound center has appeared in 552 career NHL games, registering 150 goals and 339 assists for 489 points with 49 power play goals and 18 game-winners. In 2005-06, Richards collected a career-high 68 assists and 91 points to go along with 23 goals. A five-time 20-goal scorer, he tallied a career-best 26 goals in 2003-04.

Tampa Bay’s all-time franchise leader in assists, Richards also ranks second in Lightning history in points and third in goals. During the 2004 playoffs, he was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP as Tampa Bay won its first and only Stanley Cup championship. In 23 post-season games in 2004, he led the league in points (12-14-26) and set an NHL record with seven game-winning goals. He also won the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy in 2004, awarded to the player who best demonstrates sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct. In 45 career playoff games, he has recorded 18 goals and 29 assists for 47 points.

Holmqvist, 29, has appeared in 45 games with Tampa Bay this season, posting a 20-16-6 record with a 3.01 goals-against-average and a .890 save percentage. Last season with the Lightning, he appeared in 48 games and recorded 27 victories, both career-highs. His 27 wins ranked fifth in team history during his first full NHL season.

 The 6-3, 198-pound goaltender was originally drafted by the New York Rangers in the seventh round (175th overall) at the 1997 NHL Entry Draft. He appeared in four games over parts of three seasons from 2000 – 2003 with the New York Rangers prior to signing as a free agent with Tampa Bay on July 1, 2006. The Tolfta, Sweden, native has played for his country at the 2006 World Championships and the 1998 World Junior Championships. He was also named Swedish Junior of the Year in 1997-98.

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