BostonBruins.com - Every championship-winning team has its unquestioned leaders.
Typically, they are the veterans - the guys who have seemingly seen and done it all during their careers.
The 2011 Boston Bruins had their share of those types of players, but there was one veteran who stood out above the rest.
That player was Mark Recchi.
Recchi, an assistant captain, was a vital cog in the Bruins championship, ranking fifth on the team in scoring (48 points) during the 2010-11 season at the age of 43. He tallied 14 points (five goals, nine assists) during that magical playoff run, sixth-best on the team, and retired after the Stanley Cup Final.
And on Monday afternoon, Recchi - a three-time Stanley Cup champion - took his rightful place in the Hockey Hall of Fame, alongside Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, former Bruins forward Dave Andreychuk, Teemu Selanne, Paul Kariya, Danielle Goyette, and Clare Drake. It was Recchi's fourth year on the ballot.
"What a great day," said Recchi. "Can't thank my teammates, my family - in particular, my mother, father, wife, my children - countless teammates that I had over the years, just an amazing honor to be in here and to accept this and I look forward to November. It's going to be a great time with these amazing people."
The native of Kamloops, British Columbia, played parts of three seasons with the Bruins after being acquired from Tampa Bay on March 4, 2009, in exchange for Matt Lashoff, Martins Karsums and a 2010 second-round pick.
Recchi made an immediate impact, registering 10 goals and six assists during the 2008-09 regular season, before adding three goals and three assists in 11 playoff games.
During his first full campaign with Boston in 2009-10, Recchi played in 81 games, notching 18 goals and 25 assists for 43 points. The winger potted six goals and added four assists in 13 postseason games.
Recchi acted as a strong role model for his younger linemates, particularly in 2011, when he skated alongside Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. The line formed one of the most potent trios in hockey, combining for 22 goals and 53 points in 25 postseason games that year. The line accounted for all four goals in the Bruins' shutout victory of the Vancouver Canucks in Game 7 of the Cup Final.
At 43 years, 126 days, Recchi became the oldest player to score in a Stanley Cup Final game when he netted a power-play goal to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead in Game 2 against Vancouver.
The winger was drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the fourth round (67th overall) of the 1988 NHL Entry Draft. Recchi made his NHL debut with the Penguins the following fall and went on to play 22 seasons with Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Montreal, Carolina, Tampa Bay, Atlanta and Boston.
He won his other two Stanley Cups with Pittsburgh (1991) and Carolina (2006).
Recchi was a seven-time All-Star (he was MVP of the game in 1997) and scored 10-plus goals in 21 consecutive seasons following his rookie year. He led the NHL in assists in 1999-2000, when he notched 63 helpers for Philadelphia.
For his career, Recchi tallied 577 goals (20th all-time) and 956 assists (15th) for 1,533 points (12th) in 1,652 games (4th). In 180 games for Boston, Recchi totaled 42 goals and 65 assists for 107 points.
Recchi is now a Player Development Coach for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Andreychuk played 63 games for the Bruins in 1999-2000, tallying 19 goals and 14 assists. The forward, who is 14th on the NHL's all-time goals list with 640, played 23 seasons for Buffalo, New Jersey, Tampa Bay, Toronto, Colorado and Boston.