Mark Recchi has more than 500 goals in his NHL career.
Off the ice, he racks up plenty of points, too.
Recchi and his wife, Alexa, are donating a luxury suite for every Penguins home game at Mellon Arena to local children’s charities.
Organizations benefiting from Recchi’s charitable program include the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Ronald McDonald House, Big Brothers Big Sisters and children from the team’s Pen Pal Program which serves individuals stricken with illness or loss.
“I feel privileged to provide children and their families from our local community an opportunity to join us for an evening,” Recchi said. “My wife and I are looking forward to sharing the excitement of Penguins hockey, while giving the children and their families a break from their everyday lives and putting smiles on their faces.
“It’s been awesome. You get to bring some kids to the games who might not normally be able to come and you get to brighten their night and it’s something they don’t forget.”
“We appreciate Mark Recchi thinking of the Pittsburgh Ronald McDonald House,” said Joanne Kehris, House Manager. “It is not often when our families get a night out or a night to enjoy one of Pittsburgh’s best pleasures – the Pittsburgh Penguins. Our families will truly enjoy and appreciate the opportunity to see the Penguins in action.”
Make-A-Wish President & CEO Judith Stone stated, “What a wonderful gift to our wish children. Now so many of our kids will be able to enjoy the Penguins…in style.”
Recchi’s suite program began on Jan, 16 when the Penguins hosted the New York Islanders.
“It’s been a fun thing,” he said. “I really enjoy it and I am excited about it.”
With her husband on the ice, Alexa Recchi helps deliver special care packages to the children in the suites.
“She enjoys it,” he said. “It’s just a really good thing.”
He’s been pretty good on the ice, too.
Recchi is in the midst of a milestone season in his distinguished 18-year NHL career. So far in 2006-07, he has reached 500 career goals, 800 career assists, 1,300 career points, 1,300 career games played and recorded his seventh career hat-trick.
“He’s had an unbelievable career. It’s just an amazing run that he’s had. He’s always overachieving,” said Penguins radio color analyst Phil Bourque, who assisted on Recchi’s first NHL goal on Jan. 20, 1989. “People always said that maybe he’s too small or not tough enough and all this stuff. He’s proved everybody wrong over and over again. You look at all his accomplishments – from the Stanley Cups to the games played, to the points, to the consecutive games. All that stuff just shows you what kind of heart and passion he has. In all the days that I played, there were only a handful of guys that I have so much respect for on and off the ice. And he is one of those guys. I really look up to him for what he stands for and the way he goes about his business and how professional he is and how good of a friend he is and the character he has. I really do admire him.”
At 39, the Recchin’ Ball is still going. He has 48 points (17+31) through 51 games this season. He was named the NHL Star of the Week for the week ending Jan. 28. He recorded six points (3+3) in two games, including his 500th career goal on Jan. 26 at Dallas.
“That was nice. It ended up being a big goal for us and we ended up getting a huge win – that’s all you can ask for,” he said. “It was great to come out with a big win.”
Recchi recorded his seventh-career hat-trick on Jan. 20 vs. the Toronto Maple Leafs. He tallied four points (3+1) in the 8-2 victory. He played in his 1,300th career NHL game on Jan. 16 vs. the New York Islanders and recorded his 1,300th career point on Jan.7 vs. Tampa Bay. He tallied his 800th career assist on Dec. 15 against the Islanders.
Recchi broke into the NHL ranks with Pittsburgh in 1988 and was a member of the Penguins’ first Stanley Cup Championship team in 1991. He also played with Philadelphia and Montreal before returning to the Penguins in 2005. Last year, he split the season between Pittsburgh and Carolina,where he played an integral part in the Hurricanes’ first-ever Stanley Cup championship.
The two-time Stanley Cup champion has 501 goals, 812 assists, 1313 points and 890 PIMs in 1,305 games played in his distinguished career.
“It’s been nice and fun. I play for one reason and that’s to keep winning and keep helping out these guys,” he said. “It’s fun being part of it right now and we just want to continue to grow. The milestones – as long as I am healthy and enjoying it, I am going to keep plugging away.”