It’s no secret that Mark Recchi’s better days as an NHL player are behind him, with that in mind; Recchi has made it known that if the Bruins were to win the Stanley Cup he would retire.
With a win in Game 7 Wednesday, Recchi can retire in a way that every single professional athlete wants to go out, a champion.
The 43-year-old Recchi has already won two cups in his 22-year-career. His first came in 1991 when playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins, his second in 2006 with the Carolina Hurricanes.
Recchi knows Wednesday is most likely his last NHL game, but that’s not what he’s focused on.
“It crosses my mind, but I have a job out there to do for the guys. I can’t put those thoughts in my head. I’m going to lay it on the line one more time, then see where it takes me after that.”
After 48 points in 81 regular season games with the Bruins, Recchi has had an up and down playoff run. Recchi had four points in the Bruins seven game series win over the Montreal Canadiens, after that Rex had a three point performance in the four-game-sweep of the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Bruins advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals, and things started to slow down for Recchi. No.28 was held pointless during the seven-game-series-victory, and Recchi certainly showed signs of his age during the series.
In Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals, Recchi was held pointless for the eighth straight game, and with that Bruins fans were starting to question whether or not Recchi had enough in him to last the series.
The veteran winger quickly silenced the doubters.
Recchi has gone on to post six points (3 goals) in the last five games of the Stanley Cup Finals.
More important than his goals and assists is the veteran leadership he brings to the team off and on the ice.
Very rarely does a team win the Stanley Cup without a veteran like Recchi, Bruins rookie and line-mate Brad Marchand knows how important he is to the team’s success.
“He’s been a leader for us all year; he’s stepped up for us huge in the Final. He’s playing unbelievable right now” said Marchand. “He’s really carrying us along. Whenever we need that little boost, he’s there to give it to us. He showed again tonight why he’s such a great leader. We’re lucky to have him here.’’
Recchi knows how special it is winning the cup, and it’s something he wants to experience with this group of guys.
“That’s the great thing about it. You know, I was fortunate to win one early in my career. From ’06 when I won in Carolina to every playoff I’ve played in after that, I’ve been able to embrace it and enjoy it and watch how guys react and watch how they’re acting and enjoy the experience of seeing guys go through the firsts. It’s neat and you’re able to do that. I’ve been doing that for a number of years now and it’s been just a great, great year this year for me. [It’s been] great from the get-go with this group of guys. You knew there was something special right from the first time we got together. When we went over to Prague, we knew we had something good there.”
If the Bruins are to win Game 7, something tells me that Recchi will leave a memory in the heads of Bruins fans that they will never forget.