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Marian Hossa was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday. ((Gregory Smith/Associated Press))

High-scoring forward Marian Hossa is headed to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the biggest splash of Tuesday's NHL trade deadline.

Hossa, who is eligible for unrestricted free agency on July 1, was packaged with fellow forward Pascal Dupuis to the Penguins minutes before the 3 p.m. ET deadline.

In return, the Atlanta Thrashers received Colby Armstrong, Erik Christensen, prospect Angelo Esposito and a first-round draft pick.

"Pittsburgh snuck in the back door there," Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said. "I'm not sure anyone even thought they were an option.

"All along we kept hearing it was between Montreal and Ottawa. That was a surprising one to me.

"They did have some assets to give up. It was a very bold move by Ray Shero."

Hossa has posted 26 goals and 56 points in 60 games this season.

Earlier, Pittsburgh acquired defenceman Hal Gill from the Toronto Maple Leafs for a second- and a fifth-round pick.

Richards to Stars

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

"Brad is a difference-maker, and one of the premier playmakers in the NHL," Stars co-general manager Les Jackson said. "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, the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as top playoff performer in 2004, has 18 goals and 51 points in 62 games this season.

Campbell to Sharks

Unable to negotiate a contract extension, the Buffalo Sabres dealt defenceman Brian Campbell and a seventh-rounder to the San Jose Sharks for defenceman Steve Bernier and a first-rounder.

"Let us be honest, we would all have preferred to have him here and keep him here," Sabres GM Darcy Regier said. "But this is part of the new CBA [collective bargaining agreement] that we're going to have to deal with."

The Sharks also traded defenceman Rob Davison to the New York Islanders for a seventh-rounder.

Huet to Capitals

The Montreal Canadiens coveted Hossa, but settled for sending goaltender Cristobal Huet to the Washington Capitals for little more than a second-rounder.

"It was a lot of fun," Huet said of playing in Montreal.

"I cannot say anything bad. I would love to have finished the job here, but it was a little difficult.

"I did not play well enough the last three weeks, so I guess I didn't help my cause. Now I have a chance to join another team and try to help them jump into the playoffs."

The Capitals were extremely active on Tuesday, acquiring forward Sergei Fedorov from the Columbus Blue Jackets for defenceman Theo Ruth.

Washington later swapped forward Matt Pettinger for Matt Cooke of the Vancouver Canucks, and forward Joe Motzko for Thrashers forward Alex Giroux.

"We could have added four or five guys in the last hour … but you look at your lineup and say, they're not better than what you have," Canucks GM Dave Nonis said.

Belak, Kilger to Panthers

The Florida Panthers received two forwards from Toronto — Chad Kilger for a third-rounder and Wade Belak for a fifth-rounder.

"With the Richard Zednik injury, we needed a big, fast and skilled winger … and Chad can play that role for us," Panthers GM and head coach Jacques Martin said.

"The reality of the situation in Maple Leaf world is that we were not skating in the same arenas as some of the other teams," said Maple Leafs interim GM Cliff Fletcher, whose hands were tied because five players — and assets — had no-trade clauses.

"I'm dealing for draft choices today, and my son is dealing for Marian Hossa," Fletcher quipped, referring to his son, Chuck, who is assistant GM in Pittsburgh.

The Panthers later shipped Ruslan Salei to the Colorado Avalanche for fellow defenceman Karlis Skrastins and a third-rounder.

Stuart to Red Wings

Defenceman Brad Stuart was the lone acquisition by the Detroit Red Wings, coming from the Los Angeles Kings for a second- and a fourth-rounder.

The Kings unloaded goaltender Jean-Sebastien Aubin for a seventh-rounder from the Anaheim Ducks, who traded forward Brandon Bochenski to the Nashville Predators for future considerations.

Anaheim also nabbed defenceman Marc-Andre Bergeron from the Islanders for a third-rounder.

Nashville filled Bochenski's roster spot with forward Jan Hlavac, sending a seventh-rounder to the Lightning.

Forsberg, Foote to Avalanche

Free-agent forward Peter Forsberg confirmed Monday that he is returning to the Avalanche for at least the rest of the season.

Forsberg, a former Hart Trophy winner as league MVP, agreed to a one-year, $5-million US deal pro-rated through season's end.

He will be reunited with defenceman Adam Foote, secured Tuesday from the Blue Jackets for first- and fourth-round conditional picks.

"I hate playing against a guy like Foote," Avalanche forward Ryan Smyth said, "so having him on your team is a great thing.

"He adds so much on the ice, as a physical presence. And in the locker room, he is pretty vocal."

The Philadelphia Flyers reacquired forward Vaclav Prospal from the Lightning late Monday for defenceman Alexandre Picard and a conditional pick.

If the Flyers reach the conference finals, they will surrender a second-round pick rather than a third-rounder.

Prospal has 29 goals and 57 points in 62 games this season.

Remaining deadline deals

The Chicago Blackhawks dealt forward Martin Lapointe to the Ottawa Senators for a sixth-rounder, and sent forward Tuomo Ruutu to the Carolina Hurricanes for forward Andrew Ladd.

The Phoenix Coyotes dealt forward Josh Gratton, goaltender David Leneveu and forward Fredrik Sjostrom to the New York Rangers for forward Marcel Hossa and goaltender Al Montoya.

The Rangers relinquished a fourth-rounder for defenceman Christian Backman from the St. Louis Blues, who also sent defenceman Bryce Salvador to the New Jersey Devils for enforcer Cam Janssen.

The Minnesota Wild bulked up with enforcer Chris Simon, acquired from the Islanders for a sixth-round pick.

With files from the Canadian Press