Takin' a T/O With BT: Mark Recchi—Back in Boston Bruin Black and Gold

xx yySenior Writer IJuly 3, 2009

BOSTON - MARCH 31: Mark Recchi #28 of the Boston Bruins skates against the Tampa Bay Lightning on March 31, 2009 at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Mark Recchi wanted to play another season in the NHL, and he wanted it to be in Boston.

Fortunately for him, the feeling from Peter Chiarelli and the Boston Bruins front office was mutual.

On Thursday, Recchi became the second official signing of the second day of free agency, re-upping with the Boston Bruins for another year at a paltry sum of $1 million.

When you look out at some of the other deals being given out, $1 million for a player who's got two Stanley Cup rings to his credit, is a seven-time All Star, and has put up 60 points or more in four of the past five seasons is a bargain, whether he's 41 years old or 31 years old.

The length of the contract also fit in with Recchi's long term plans as well.

"I'll be honest with you guys, this is probably it for me. This will probably be my last season and I want to go out right, trying to help this team win a championship."

While so many players nearing retirement concern themselves with the mere idea of job security, Recchi—who cited personal reasons as his main motivation for calling it quits after this—knows where his priorities lie.

"With the personal goals out of the way, I want to play for one more ring."

A ring that he sees the hunger for in the rest of the Bruins roster.

"Pete (Boston GM Chiarelli) has done a great job of building this team. He's got his goalie, a solid core on defense, and his core centers settled in. I like Boston because when I looked at their roster last year, I could tell 99% of these guys were here to play for a cup."

Since the Bruins packed up after their second-round exit at the hands of the Carolina Hurricanes in seven games, Recchi knew there was unfinished business. From the outset of negotiations Boston made no secret that they wanted him back, and Recchi was the same way—he wanted to be back.

As Recchi said, some of the first words said to him by Chiarelli were, "I would love to have you back, and I would love to hand you a contract."

The key words in that sentence though, were the "woulds".

The process was delayed by the necessary signings of goaltender Tim Thomas and forward David Krejci. Recchi wasn't deterred though, understanding that building a team is tough with the cap, and some moves have to take precedent before you restock.

The respect that Recchi had for the team willing to trade for him at the deadline never wavered, and in the end it paid off.

The man with 545 career goals is back for another opportunity to win, and couldn't be happier about who he's playing with.

"Bergy (Patrice Bergeron) and Chucky (Chuck Kobasew) had some success late in the season, and we just have to go out there and do our jobs, whether it's checking (or) going to the net to create traffic and do some things. The young guys on this team have great attitudes, they're very professional, and they want to win. You can see it."

Whatever knowledge or experience he can pass on to the players like Kobasew, Bergeron, Krejci, Milan Lucic, or Byron Bitz, Recchi knows what his job is.

But just because he's a mentor, don't think he's taking this offseason lightly.

"In the next couple of weeks I'll be doing explosive stuff and sprint work in the next ten days; that's what I need to do to be successful—I've got a twenty-year learning curve going for me."

In those twenty years, Recchi's learned a lot, and with one final season he's got one last shot to capitalize on that knowledge.


Bryan Thiel is a Senior Writer and an NHL Community Leader for Bleacher Report. If you want to get in contact with Bryan, you can do so through his profile or email him at bryanthiel74@hotmail.com. You can also check out his previous work in his archives.

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