Recchi/By S. Bradley

Even though it took until draft weekend for his camp to officially come to terms on a new deal with the Bruins, winger Mark Recchi says he knew he wanted to return for another season, and do it in Boston, almost as soon as the 2009-10 season ended in shambles against Philadelphia.

“I had some great conversations with (general manager) Peter (Chiarelli) and I really liked the direction he wanted to go,” said Recchi during a conference call to discuss the deal that he agreed to last Friday. “He had a great feel for what was needed and when you hear that … from what the dressing room needed, to players we needed, he really has a great understanding of it. That was exciting to me. I think there was some unfinished business. I’ve never been so disappointed to end the way we did.”

A two-time Stanley Cup winner, seven-time All-Star and veteran of more than 1,500 regular season NHL games (including 81 of 82 last season with the Bruins), Recchi will be counted on not just to produce for the Bruins, but serve as a mentor to No. 2 pick Tyler Seguin and the rest of the Bruins’ young up-and-comers.

The best news is, Recchi’s not going to show up this fall and expect anything be handed to him.

“I’m a big believer in you have to earn the respect from the time you come into training camp, regardless of who you are,” he said. “I’m not entitled to anything. I’m going to come and I’m going to show (head coach) Claude Julien that I’m ready to play again and he can count on me.”

As for beyond this season, Recchi wasn’t tipping his hand about retirement again.

“At the end of next year, I’ll sit down,” he said, “but (the end) is definitely getting closer.”