Drafted in the 3rd Round (64th Overall) in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, Brad Richards has been considered one of the best players in the history of the Tampa Bay Lightning. In 552 games over 7 seasons with the Lightning, Richards scored 150 goals and dished out 339 assists for 489 points. His 12 playoff goals in a single playoff in 2004 (T-Ruslan Fedotenko) was a record that stood in the Lightning books until Tyler Johnson scored 13 in the 2015 run.
Ricahrds' 26 points during that 2004 Cup run won him the Conn Smythe. He was also the first player in Tampa Bay Lightning history to win the Lady Byng trophy, given to the player with "the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability." (NHL.com) But when Richards was traded on February 26th, 2008, it turned out to be a franchise-altering trade.
What did Dallas acquire? Well, Holmqvist only played 2 games for the Stars after the trade, and he wasn’t great, posting a .857 Save % in those games. After the 2007-08 season, Holmqvist played in Switzerland until his retirement after the 2016-17 season.
End of Holmqvist
Brad Richards spent four years in Dallas, and he was phenomenal. In 220 games with Dallas, Richards scored 70 goals and added 157 assists for 227 points. He was a constant feature in the Lady Byng trophy voting, finishing runner-up in 2009-10. Richards would win another Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2015 (Of course, it was against the Lightning).
End of Dallas
Jeff Halpern was a very serviceable and dependable player in his 3 years with the Lightning. In 126 games with the Bolts, Halpern put up 26 goals and 25 assists for 51 points. However, the Lightning would trade Halpern to the Los Angeles Kings for Teddy Purcell and a 2010 3rd round pick. The Lightning would use that 3rd round pick to choose RD Brock Beukeboom. Beukeboom would not even make it to the AHL.
Purcell was a solid player and fan favorite in his 5 years with the Lightning. In 310 games with the Bolts, Purcell put up 67 goals and 136 assists for 203 points. Purcell was traded to the Edmonton Oilers in the summer of 2014 for Sam Gagner. I’ll get back to Gagner in a second.
Purcell was traded to the Florida Panthers after 2 productive seasons with the Oilers in exchange for a 2016 3rd round pick. With that pick, the Oilers would select D Matthew Cairns. Cairns, 19, is currently playing hockey at Cornell University.
End of Purcell
Gagner was shipped the same day as he was acquired. He went to the Arizona Coyotes along with B.J. Crombeen, for a 2015 6th round draft pick. That draft pick was used to select G Kristian Oldham (my first ever interview which you can read here). Oldham is currently playing at the University of Nebraska.
Gagner spent one season with the Coyotes before being traded, along with a draft pick, to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for Nicklas Grossmann and the contract of Chris Pronger. Grossmann played a total of 58 games with the Coyotes in his one season, racking up 3 goals and 4 assists for 7 points. The pick that was sent to the Flyers was then traded to the New York Islanders in exchange for a 2017 4th round pick. The Islanders selected Otto Koivula with that pick, currently playing in the Finnish Elite League.
End of Halpern Madness
Jussi Jokinen spent less than a year in the Lightning organization, getting traded to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for Wade Brookbank, Josef Melichar, and a 2009 4th round pick. Brookbank never played for the Bolts, and Melichar played just 24 games with the Lightning, recording 5 assists.
That 4th round pick was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs, along with Olaf Kolzig, Andy Rogers, and Jamie Heward, in exchange for Richard Petiot. None of these players did anything of note with their respective teams, but the fourth round pick was forfeited as punishment for the violation of Jonas Frogren’s contract, under the NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Jokinen was again traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a 2013 conditional pick. The pick would have been a 6th round pick if Jokinen played in half of Pittsburgh's postseason games and the Pens were to win the Cup, or a 7th round pick if Jokinen played in 25% of Pittsburgh’s playoff games and the Penguins made the Stanley Cup Finals. The pick was not exercised, as the Boston Bruins won the Eastern Conference that season.
End of Jokinen
Mike Smith was less than ideal in his 4 years with the Lightning. In 118 games, Smith went 109-43-52 with a .905 save percentage and a 2.85 goals against average. His most memorable moment as a Lightning member is this. However, Smith saw major success after leaving Tampa, including this goal in the Skills Competition.
End of Smith
The final part of the original trade, the 2009 4th round pick, moved around a lot. The Lightning traded the pick, as a condition, to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for the right to Brian Rolston. The pick was then traded to the Edmonton Oilers, along with a 2009 5th round pick, in exchange for a 2009 6th round pick and the rights to Kyle Brodziak. The Oilers selected Kyle Bigos and Olivier Roy, respectfully, with the two picks that they acquired.
While neither played in the NHL, they were both traded away from the team that drafted them. Bigos was dealt to the San Jose Sharks for Lee Moffie, who only made it to the AHL. Roy was traded to the Calgary Flames, along with Ladislav Smid, in exchange for Roman Horak and Laurent Brossoit. Horak scored his first career goal in his 2 games with the Oilers, and Brossoit has gone back and forth between the NHL and AHL. Smid had one goal and 6 assists for 7 points in 109 games. The Wild selected Darcy Kuemper with the 6th round selection that they acquired.
End of Trade
Probably Dallas. Brad Richards was an incredible player with Dallas and none of the four pieces that Tampa received really matched up
Who do you think were the winners of the trade? What trade do you want me to analyze next? Leave your opinions below and please follow me @Tampa_baysports on Instagram for the latest news and scores of the Lightning, Bucs, and Rays. If you have any questions or suggestions about my next article, please feel free to email me at Tampabaysports0@gmail.com