Beside Tyler Seguin, another impactful choice was made be the Bruins.
Bringing back the Recch-ing Ball.
Mark Recchi will be back with the Boston Bruins for another season, a deal Chiarelli confirmed while working the phones out in LA prior to the draft.
The 42 year old winger will be entering his 22nd NHL season, but still plays harder than most players half his age. The days of Recchi scoring 60, 70, 80 points are likely gone but he brings something much more valuable to a young Bruins team.
“Rex was a terrific player for us,” said GM Peter Chiarelli. “He helped our group leadershipwise. He’s a Hall of Famer-to-be. We’re glad to have him back.”
… a statement that does not do nearly enough to justify Recchi’s value.
Recchi leads by example both on and off the ice. He never takes a shift off, never shies away from contact and never gives up. Off the ice he demands accountability and hard work from his team mates. He defines what a hockey player should be.
He is also the perfect mentor for young players looking to find their stride in the NHL or work on improving their skills, physically and mentally. Tampa Bay Lightning star Steven Stamkos credits Recchi for helping him succeed in the latter half of his rookie year and beyond. The lessons he learned from the veteran Recchi stuck with him and help him be successful.
Who better to teach a young player than a guy who has over 1000 NHL games under his belt?
With Tyler Seguin coming into the Bruins organization, Recchi figures to play a big part in acclimating him into the NHL and helping him develop his skills. This fact is certainly not lost on the Bruins, a likely reason they did not let Recchi reach free agency.
Recchi could also have a further impact on current Bruins players like Blake Wheeler and Milan Lucic. Both players are still learning how to use their size effectively and could certainly learn a lot from the much smaller Recchi in regards to getting to the front of the net and learning who to better tip in shots.
Mark Recchi is the perfect teacher; he has been in every situation, good and bad, and succeeded at all levels. He’s been on great teams, awful teams and everything in between but the one consistent theme is he’s always left his all on the ice. Like every player he’s had bad games, even bad stretches but his effort is never in question.
His drive, his determination are unmatched and instilling that in a rookie can be a huge boost both immediately and in the future.
Despite his age and a poor offensive supporting cast, the wily veteran still managed 18 goals and 43 points last year for Boston in the regular season, good for 4th on the team, and led the Bruins with 6 goals in the playoffs.
He was a demon on the forecheck, stood up to Chris Pronger when the rest of his team would not and played with fire until the last buzzer of Game 7 against the Flyers.
He threw his aging body around with reckless abandon and kept going back for more. The Bruins could sign a better offensive force, but they certainly could not have signed a better player.
Recchi is the type of veteran that almost every Cup winner has on their roster. He is the calming force in the locker room when situations get ugly, that spark on the ice when the game needs a momentum shift, that voice on the bench when a player is not playing as hard as he could be.
Boston management and their players should feel lucky, and privileged, to have a player like Mark Recchi back on their team.