Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Richards to Big D

The Tampa Bay Lightning finally moved Brad Richards (Dale C.) out of the organization to free up some cap space. They moved both Richards and Johan Holmqvist (Clayton) to Dallas for goaltender Mike Smith (Benson), Jussi Jokinen (non-pool) and Jeff Halpern (non-pool).

To DallasAgeGames/MINPointsContract (July 1st)
Brad Richards, F2762513-years, $7.8 million
Johan Holmqvist, G29246944UFA
To Tampa Bay
Mike Smith, G261171281-year, $0.95 million
Jussi Jokinen, F2452281-year, $1.8 million
Jeff Halpern, F3164242-years, $2 million

This is by far the biggest Draft deal on Tuesday, seeing three pool players shift teams. Both Richards and Smith should have stock increases with this move, while Holmqvist takes a bit of a dive because he's now going to play behind Marty Turco (Dieter). This may not shift Dale so much, but Benson might get a few more starts out of Smith in Tampa Bay, although they might not be wins.

The Stars had plenty of room to move for the acquisition of Richards and adding Holmqvist give the team a back-up for Turco that has some NHL experience. I don't expect Holmqvist to re-sign with the Stars, because of Tobias Stephan (non-pool) in the system, but he'll do for now.

In Tampa, they get some help in all areas. Offensively, they get a young talent in Jokinen... defensively, Jeff Halpern gives some stability in the face-off circle... and in net, Smith is a good up-and-comer who has had some valuable minutes behind Turco. A very good deal for the Lightning right now, as they still have at least another season to make sure they had a very good deal out of their new players.

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