"I'm excited about the opportunity to come back,” said Recchi. “I think the Bruins are continually going in the right direction and I'm excited about the move.
"To be part of the Boston Bruins again is going to be something special."
|FILE - This May 12, 2010, file photo shows Boston Bruins hockey player Mark Recchi during Game 6 of a second-round NHL playoff game against the Philadelphia Flyers, in Philadelphia. The Boston Bruins have given a one-year contract extension to 42-year-old forward Mark Recchi, the NHL's oldest active player under contract. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File) |
Recchi is something special, too. A 42-year-old Kamloops, British Columbia native, he played in 81 regular season games for the Bruins last season with 18-25-43 totals. In 13 playoff games the veteran NHLer scored six goals and four assists to lead the B’s in postseason scoring.
As such, General Manager Peter Chiarelli was quick to sign him up for the 2010-11 season.
"Rex was a terrific player for us,” said the B’s GM just prior to last weekend’s NHL draft. “He helped our group leadership wise.
“He is a hall-of-famer to be," added Chiarelli. "He’s looking forward to helping the younger kids and the whole group has to help the younger kids.
“It’s a group effort, but someone like Mark who has done it and has done it successfully will be an asset to our team."
Recchi was not surprised about the quick signing.
"He was very adamant right away that he wanted me back,” said Recchi. “It’s been a lot quicker then [last summer] because he had a pretty good idea of what his team was going to look like and what he wanted to do."
Recchi, a seven-time NHL all-star and two-time Stanley Cup Champion, is a veteran of 1571 NHL regular season games. He has played in 164 career Stanley Cup Playoff contests, and has recorded 56 goals, 77 assists and 133 points with 20 power-play goals and 10 game-winning goals.
He won the Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh in 1991 and again with Carolina in 2006.
Clearly, Recchi will remain a big asset in the Bruins locker room. NHL players young and old can learn a lot from the experienced forward, not only from his playing skills, but also from his attitude on-and-off the ice.
"I've been very blessed to play with a lot of great young players that want to learn and want to get better,” said Recchi. “When they're good kids, it’s very easy to work with them and want to help them, and nurture them and bring them along.
“A lot of it is just showing your work ethic in practice, work ethic in the gym, whatever it takes,” said Recchi, who added with a chuckle, “There's nothing better for an old guy like me."
Just like the youngsters, Recchi feels like he has something to prove when he shows up in September.
"When you come in to training camp regardless of who you are [you’re] not entitled to anything,” he said. “I’m going to come and I’m going show Claude Julien that I’m ready to play and that he can count on me."
Recchi may call himself an “old guy” but he still has the young hockey player mentality -- at least for one more season.
"It’s year-to-year,” admitted the forward. “At the end of next year I’ll sit down and [think about it]. But it’s definitely getting closer.
"It’s definitely winding down. Whether this is it or not, I’m not sure.
"I'm having fun and I love it, but we’ll see what happens this year."