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Recchi re-signs with Bruins

by John McGourty
Veteran right wing Mark Recchi, the leading active scorer in the NHL with 1,485 points, has signed a one-year contract to return to the Boston Bruins for a second full season, Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli announced Monday.

Recchi, 42, had 18 goals and 43 points in 81 games last season. He was very effective in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, leading the Bruins with 6 goals and adding 4 assists in 13 games against Buffalo and Philadelphia.

Recchi was acquired from Tampa Bay on March 4, 2009 with a 2010 second-round pick for defenseman Matt Lashoff and forward Martins Karsums. Lashoff spent most of last season in the minors while Karsums returned to Latvia in the middle of last season to play for Riga Dynamo.

"I'm excited about the opportunity to come back," Recchi said. "I think the Bruins are continuing to be going in the right direction. I'm excited about the moves, and to be part of the Boston Bruins again is going to be special. I want to thank Peter Chiarelli, the Jacobs family (owners) and the coaching staff for believing in me and wanting me back around."

The 21-year veteran previously played with Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Montreal, Carolina, Atlanta and Tampa Bay. In 1,571 NHL games, Recchi has scored 563 goals and added 922 assists for 1,485 points. He has 998 penalty minutes in his career. Recchi has scored 194 power-play goals, 18 shorthanded goals and 85 game-winners. He won the 1991 Stanley Cup with the Penguins and the 2006 Stanley Cup with the Hurricanes.

Recchi said he had long conversations with Chiarelli and Julien right after the end of the season.

"They wanted me back and I wanted to come back," Recchi said. "It really wasn't that hard. Things went pretty smooth. ... I had some great conversations with Peter and I really like the direction he wanted to go.

"He had a great feel for what was needed. When you hear that, not everything is going to work out that he wants to do, but from what the dressing room needed and what players we needed, he really had a great understanding of that. That was exciting for me."

Recchi was on the wrong side of a historic event when the Flyers rallied from a 3-0 games deficit to win their Eastern Conference Semifinal series. Only two other NHL clubs have ever gone up 3-0 and then lost the last four games of a series. Recchi said it hurt and will motivate him this season.

"I think there was some unfinished business. I have never been so disappointed, to end the way we did," he said. "I think we're going to be a little bit younger and a little bit faster. I think we're going to be a better hockey team this season."

Recchi displayed great chemistry on a line with Bruins center Patrice Bergeron, and said he's looking forward to playing with him again. But Bergeron wasn't the only reason Recchi re-signed.

"The core of the guys that we have on this hockey club was a big reason," Recchi said. "I believe in these young guys and what they want. For whatever reason, I really haven't played with another center since I've been here, maybe the odd game when 'Bergy' got hurt. From day one, I've had the great opportunity to play with him. He's one of the most underrated players in the league. We have a lot of chemistry and I believe we do a lot of similar things."

Recchi said he was also excited about Tyler Seguin, the Plymouth Whalers center whom the Bruins selected Friday with the No. 2 pick in the 2010 Entry Draft.

"I think it's wonderful. Any time you can get a player like that, that's a franchise player," Recchi said. "We're very fortunate. Up the middle, we've got three dynamic guys, all different players. Throw this kid in the mix and he could possibly play wing, I understand. He's going to be an important part. At the same time, he can come in and just be a player, which is most important for a young kid.

"There's no pressure for this kid -- internally, anyway -- for him to come in and be a world beater, like Taylor Hall having to go (to Edmonton) and be an impact player right away. He can come in and learn and grow and be part of a good hockey team, and I think that's very important for the development of a young kid."

He's also excited about last week's acquisition of right wing/center Nathan Horton from the Florida Panthers. The Bruins traded for Horton and center Greg Campbell but gave up offensive defenseman Dennis Wideman and two draft picks.

"I see a young gentleman whose potential has been untapped," Recchi said. "I don't think he's been in the greatest place for development. I think they've always been floundering around. The Boston sports market is going to be tremendous for him. I think, No. 1, he really wants to be a good player. He's really excited to get this opportunity to come here. He's a tough kid. He can score and pass. This kid is a pure talent. We just have to get it out of him on a more consistent basis, surround him with the right people. ... It's going to be a great fit. He's going to be a huge factor for our hockey club."

Recchi said he's aware that Chiarelli has discussed trading away No. 1 center Marc Savard, the team's leading scorer for three seasons before an injury-filled 2009-10 season. Savard suffered a severe concussion from a blindside hit to the head in early March.

"I really like 'Savvy' and you never know what's going to happen," Recchi said. "General managers explore everything and if there's a viable option to move Marc Savard, you have to look at it. (Chiarelli) might be looking at a different dynamic."

"I'm excited about the opportunity to come back.  I think the Bruins are continuing to be going in the right direction. I'm excited about the moves, and to be part of the Boston Bruins again is going to be special. I want to thank Peter Chiarelli, the Jacobs family (owners) and the coaching staff for believing in me and wanting me back around." -- Mark Recchi
Recchi then listed the Bruins centers, Bergeron, Seguin and David Krejci and noted there are several centers who will vie for NHL jobs at training camp, including Joe Colborne and Zach Hamill, though he didn't mention them by name.

"Maybe (Chiarelli) gets that defenseman he's trying to get," Recchi said. "You maybe get stronger in one area and not as strong in another area. Free agency is coming up and you can add some depth that way, if you do choose to move Savard. He's a dynamic human, obviously a dynamic passer and he's been great for the Boston Bruins."

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