Next stop, Toronto.
And no, we’re not talking about another blockbuster trade between Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli and his Maple Leafs counterpart Brian Burke.
The next time Mark Recchi does something hockey-wise that makes headlines — unless he quickly transitions into a front-office position and begins to remake a team — will be when he’s inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame some day later this decade.
Recchi’s Hall-of-Fame-caliber resume didn’t need any polishing this season, but he sealed the deal with his contributions to yet another Stanley Cup championship squad — the third of his career. Sure he had his ups and downs statistically throughout the year. However, his off-ice contribution in keeping the team together in the face of adversity couldn’t be measured.
The Bruins were lucky to have Recchi along for the ride one last time.
Regular season: 81 GP, 14-34-48, plus-13
Playoffs: 25 GP, 5-9-14, plus-7
Contract status: Scheduled UFA July 1; expected to retire
Best regular-season moment: It didn’t quite match the drama of some of the Bruins’ biggest late-season wins, but Nov. 24 they rallied from a third-period deficit against Florida. Recchi scored the go-ahead goal and then an insurance goal in the 3-1 victory. The second goal was his 1,500th career point — making him just the 13th player to reach that milestone.
Best playoff moment: Although head coach Claude Julien wasn’t happy with Recchi’s taunting of Maxim Lapierre with his fingers, the grizzled veteran was right in the thick of the offense in Boston’s 8-1 blowout of Vancouver in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final. He scored twice (once off Ryan Kesler’s stick) and fired four shots on goal while wreaking havoc around the net area.
Worst moment: While he suffered through some goal droughts over the course of the season, Recchi’s season low light came off the ice. One day before the Bruins’ March 24 date with Montreal, he took to the airwaves on a local radio show and accused the Canadiens of embellishing Max Pacioretty’s injuries. Whether Recchi was right, it was a move that was totally out of character for any NHL player — let alone a classy future Hall-of-Famer. While he later said he was just made those statements to take the heat off of captain Zdeno Chara, it’s difficult to completely exonerate him considering the random nature of the show and the fact that he couldn’t have completely orchestrated the situation. Recchi apologized to the Montreal medical staff, but Canadiens backers still are sore over his comments.
Regular-season grade: B
Playoff grade: B
Carnac predicts … the Penguins and Flyers race to be the first to retire Recchi’s number and he lands nicely in one of those teams’ front offices to start his career as a future GM.