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Great 8

Eight of greatest moments of Mark Recchi's Flyers career as he enters the Hall of Fame

by Bill Meltzer @bmeltzer

Except for a brief time wearing No. 11 early in his second stint with the Flyers, Mark Recchi sported No. 8 with great distinction during his two stellar stints as a Flyers after being acquired in trades with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Montreal Canadiens. 

In honor of Recchi's Hockey Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Toronto on Monday, here's a chronological look at the eight pivotal moments of the three-time Bobby Clarke Trophy (Flyers' Most Valuable Player) award winner's career in Philadelphia.  

February 19, 1992

The Flyers traded Rick Tocchet, defenseman Kjell Samuelsson and goalie Ken Wregget plus a 1992 third-round pick (Dave Roche) to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Recchi, defenseman Brian Benning and a 1992 first-round pick (Jason Bowen).

Significance: The Flyers were in rebuilding mode at the time, and the 24-year-old Recchi already had a 100-point season and Stanley Cup ring to his credit in Pittsburgh. Recchi would immediately become a major impact performer in the Philadelphia lineup, scoring 27 points in 22 games over the remainder of the 1991-92 season. Thereafter, he would combine with a rookie Eric Lindros and Brent Fedyk to form the high-scoring "Crazy Eights" line in 1992-92. The next year, a rookie Mikael Renberg further strengthened a line with Lindros and Recchi.

April 16, 1993

Recchi notched a goal and an assist in a 5-4 overtime road win against the Hartford Whalers.

Significance: The game itself was meaningless in the standings but Recchi's two points concluded his 123-point campaign (53 goals, 70 assists) during the 1992-93 season. That stands as the Flyers' all-time single season scoring record. The next best was Hockey Hall of Fame center Bob Clarke's 119 points in 1975-76.

February 9, 1995

Philadelphia traded Recchi and a 1995 third-round pick (Martin Hohenberger) to the Montreal Canadiens for forward John LeClair, defenseman Eric Desjardins and forward Gilbert Dionne.

Significance: While Recchi was a three-time 100-point scorer and one-time 97-point scorer in the NHL by this point of his career, the deal was a vital one in Flyers history. LeClair's arrival gave birth to the legendary Legion of Doom line with Lindros and Renberg, while Desjardins solidified the blueline as an All-Star caliber performer. The Flyers vaulted from missing the playoffs five consecutive seasons to Stanley Cup contender status that season. 

March 10, 1999

The Canadiens traded Recchi back to the Flyers in exchange for young forward Dainius Zubrus, a 1999 second-round pick (Matt Carkner) and a 2000 sixth-round pick (Scott Selig) originally belonging to the New York Islanders.

Significance: The Flyers now had the best of both worlds - a still highly productive Recchi was back in the fold while LeClair and Desjardins were also still in the primes of their careers. During his second stint, Recchi would go on to win his second (1999-2000) and third (2003-04) Bobby Clarke Trophies. In those seasons, the Flyers would fall one 2-1 verdict in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Finals shy of reaching the Stanley Cup Final.

March 13, 2001

Recchi scored at 6:54 1st period in a 5-2 home win against the St. Louis Blues. The goal was assisted by Chris Therien and Keith Primeau.

Significance: The goal was Recchi's 1,000th career point. Overall as a Flyer, he had 627 points (232 goals and 395 assists) in 602 regular season games. He also dressed in 65 playoff games, all in his second stint, posting 19 goals and 39 points. In Flyers history, he ranks 8th in all-time scoring. However, Claude Giroux is likely to surpass Recchi at some point during the 2017-18 season if the current Flyers captain remains healthy.

December 18, 2001

Recchi scored at 18:34 of the 3rd period in a 6-3 home win against the St. Louis Blues. The goal was assisted by Kim Johnsson and Simon Gagne.

Significance: The goal was the 400th regular season tally of Recchi's NHL career. For his entire NHL career, he totaled 577 goals among his 1,533 career regular season points.

March 23, 2002

Recchi was in the Flyers' starting lineup for a 4-4 road tie against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Significance: This was the 1,000th game of Recchi's NHL regular season career: a coveted career milestone for all players. By the time he was done, Recchi played 1,652 regular season games in the NHL: the 5th most in league history. His 602 regular season games as a Flyer are the 18th most in team history.

April 16, 2003

Recchi's goal at 13:54 of triple overtime earned a 3-2 road win for the Flyers in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Significance: The Flyers lost Game 3 in Toronto in double overtime to trail in the series, two games to one. If they had also dropped Game 4, the chances of coming back to win the series would have been virtually nil after back-to-back heartbreakers. Instead, the series was knotted at two games apiece. Philadelphia went on to win the series in seven games. 

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