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Recchi celebrates third Cup win in retirement

Sunday, 08.14.2011 / 10:00 AM / NHL Insider

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

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Recchi celebrates third Cup win in retirement
Mark Recchi has three Cups and is ready for retirement -- as a player, that is.
KAMLOOPS, B.C. -- Mark Recchi has a reminder of his stellar 22-year career tattooed on the outside of his right ankle. It's also a reminder that he might be ready to be a rookie again soon.

Recchi swore to himself that he wouldn't get a tattoo until he was finished with his playing career. So, a week after the Bruins won the Stanley Cup and Recchi announced he was calling it a career, he sat in a chair and let an artist paint a permanent picture of the three most meaningful memories of his time skating in the NHL -- his three Stanley Cup championships.

"It worked out perfectly," Recchi told NHL.com Saturday during his personal celebration with the Stanley Cup here in his hometown. "The guy did a great job."

That tattoo, not to mention Recchi's aching bones and diminished speed, has turned a dressing-room guru into the new suit on the block. Recchi doesn't have a job yet (he hasn't even signed his retirement papers -- "by the new year," he said, laughing); but he is planning for a post-playing career in hockey.

He just has to figure out what exactly he would like to do.

"Right now I'd just like to sit back and take my time, but management is something I want to look into, to work with the young guys to start," Recchi said. "I've had some offers with TV, and that is intriguing to me. But, we'll see. I've got to take my time. I don't want to jump into anything too quickly. I've been going at it for 22 years, so I want to ease into the next thing."

Twenty-two years. It still amazes Recchi and his family.

"He didn't think he was going to play for 10 years," his mother, Ruth Recchi, told NHL.com. "I guess he proved to people that you can do it at 5-foot-10."

"I don't have any (regrets) right now. It was incredible," Recchi added. "I know I probably could have played another year, but what is there to prove at this point. I'll end it on top and call it quits."

The ending still nearly steals the speech right out of the mouth of Mel Recchi, Mark's father.

"Not too many guys can end their career by winning the Stanley Cup, a World Series or the Super Bowl," Mel told NHL.com. "It's hard to believe, hard to fathom, really. He was going to retire either way, and this just made it so much sweeter. You just can't do it any better."

Recchi couldn't have done much better in any facet of his career. The fourth-round pick for the Penguins in 1988 finished with three Stanley Cup championships to go along with 577 goals and 956 assists (1,533 points) in 1,652 regular-season games. He also had 147 points in 189 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

Recchi says he tries not to think about the Hall of Fame, even though he knows he'll be up for it in three years provided he does sign those retirement papers soon.

"When people bring it up (I think about it), but whenever I sign my papers and three, four, five years down the road, I hope I get the opportunity to go in," Recchi said. "That would be a great ending for me. I hope that I get that opportunity, but I'm not going to hold my breath."

Instead, Recchi is thinking about what's next -- but he's not rushing into it. He's just coming to grips with the fact that he doesn't have to train right now to prepare for next season.

He's gone two months without working out.

"It's kind of nice actually...that is until I tried to put my suit pants on today and I was like, 'Whoa,' " Recchi said. "Maybe I'll start working out next week, but you know what, it's a nice feeling. My kids start school in a couple of weeks and I'll get into a workout routine soon, but I just wanted to take some time off. It's coming on two months now. I've never done that before."

It might take him longer to hit the gym, and even longer to figure out what he wants to do next.

That said, while Recchi is intrigued by both management and television and he's even willing to give the camera a shot this season, it sounds as if building a team and going after another Stanley Cup is in his future.

"I don't need to be in the day-to-day decisions, but I'd like to be part of it to understand why they're making these decisions," Recchi said, admitting it'll be strange to be the rookie executive instead of the veteran player. "That's the neat part for me. You look at Steve Yzerman; he worked with a great guy like Ken Holland and learned a lot from him. Kenny kept him very involved, but at the same time Kenny made the decisions."

"I've learned a lot from watching teams over 22 years and it's intriguing to me to do it right."

He'll start trying as soon as he gets used to the new tattoo.

"He's got no shortage of options in the hockey world," Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference told NHL.com from Recchi's private party at his parents' house. "Obviously hockey is still a good fit for him."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

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