The Sports Museum’s 21st Edition of The Tradition held last week at the TD Garden was a fitting place to honor Hockey Hall of Famer (2017), and member of the 2011 Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins, Mark Recchi. My chance to talk with Recchi at The Tradition was a “no brainer,” and a welcome opportunity. His illustrious 22-year NHL career included Recchi winning the Stanley Cup championship as a player with Pittsburgh in 1991, again in 2006 with the Carolina Hurricanes and his third and final Cup in 2011 with the Boston Bruins. In Game 2 of the 2011 Finals, at the age of 43, Recchi became the oldest player ever to score in a Stanley Cup Finals series.
His response to talk about one of his many highlights in his lengthy career led his talking mostly about his stay in Boston. “Getting traded here was one, when it was happening, I knew I was getting traded from Tampa Bay, I spoke with Lightning head coach Rick Tocchet, and said…I hoped it would be Boston – it worked out great, and so many memories here. Just the adversity we went through together, the ups and downs, and finally getting to the pinnacle together, having been through all those things for two years. You maybe expect it to be a good team and a contending team, and to finally get there and do it! The year before we were up three games to none against Philadelphia, we blew that lead, along with a 3-0 lead in Game 7. We overcame that and just continued to grow, watching Bergy (Patrice Bergeron), Krech (David Krejci) and Looch (Milan Lucic), and the rest of the guys, Timmy Thomas and Tuukka (Rask), just watching the growth of those guys and see how they became team leaders.”
When asked what his employment status was at this time, he responded, “Not doing anything right now, just hanging out – just taking some time off, hopefully getting back into the game next year sometime. I’d probably like to get back into management and that side of hockey – player development, whatever you know. I really enjoyed that part, I loved coaching, but I really have a passion for being on that side. The nice thing about management is I could live in Pittsburgh and be with my family, and then I could travel in and out from there, that’s the nice thing, taking the combination of the two, but coaching, I’ve got to be there full time.”
During his two-year tenure in Boston (2009-10 + 2010-11), Recchi played 81 games each year, posting point totals of 43 and 48 points respectively, and scored three huge goals in 2011 Stanley Cup Final against the Vancouver Canucks. Recchi summed up his comments via, “I loved my time here, it was incredible, and we still all keep in touch with each other.” After being in the lineups for the Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers, Montreal Canadiens, Carolina Hurricanes, Atlanta Thrashers, Tampa Bay Lightning and Boston Bruins, Recchi decided to hang them up after the 2011 Cup win, but he certainly proved at the end of his 22-year career, that he had what is called ‘lasting power.’ In the awards ceremony Tuukka Rask presented Recchi with the 2022 Hockey Legacy Award. Also honored by The Sports Museum were: Johnny Damon (Red Sox); M.L. Carr (Celtics); Jillian Dempsey (Pride) and Chanté Bonds (Boston Renegade); Lawyer Milloy (Patriots); and Bill Rodgers (Marathon).