Mark Recchi has been an integral part of the Bruin's two playoff runs in as many years. However, the 42-year-old veteran will be a free agent come July 1st and has to decide whether to continue his Hall of Fame career, or to hang up the skates.
Although he may not have the speed he once had, he still brings an array of characteristics to the team that are not able to be taught, and extremely hard to come by.
So as every Bruin's fan has seen over his one and a half seasons with the club, "Rex" has plenty left in the tank.
So here are the five biggest reasons that the Bruins must, and will, re-sign Mark Recchi.
While he may not be putting up over 100 points a season like he did back in the day with Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, over the past three seasons Recchi has averaged 49 points a year. His 43 points this year were good enough to earn him fourth on the Bruin's in scoring, in a year where goals were few and far between.
Come playoff time when it counts the most, he doesn't pull a Joe Thornton and hide in the locker room. But don't take it from me, ask Tim Kennedy of the Buffalo Sabres, I'm sure he'll tell you a story or two.
In his last 44 playoff appearances he's put up a respectable 36 points, which makes him good for just under a point per game (.82 points per game).
Being on a team with such promising young talent, 43 points a season should be sufficient for a winger who turns 43 in January.
The picture says all you need to know about Recchi's leadership qualities.
Game in and game out he leads by example, setting the bar high for all the younger players that look to him for guidance. He goes to places on the ice that aren't fun to be. Whether its battling in front taking two-handers from guys like Tyler Myers and Chris Pronger, or crashing the net hard, slamming into the post trying to be first to a loose puck, that's where you'll find Rex.
Guys like this are not easily replaced on the ice, and even more so in the locker room. His poise and demeanor make him very rare in today's NHL, and finding a sufficient replacement may be nearly impossible.
His hair tells the story. He's got the balding, yet still has some hair look going on, which says, "I'm experienced, but still energetic." But in all seriousness he's 42 and has 23 NHL seasons under his belt, which qualifies him as being experienced in most people's book.
On top of that he has two Stanley Cup Championships to his name, one with the Penguins in the 1990-1991 season, and the second in 2005-2006 with the Hurricanes. This kind of experience is not found in every player; in fact, the only other player on the Bruin's with a Stanley Cup ring is bona fide tough-guy, Shawn Thornton.
Production, leadership, and experience all packaged together in one person will warrant a pretty hefty price tag in many cases, but this is not one of them. Last year the Bruin's signed Recchi to a 1-year/$1 million contract. That's a steal in so many ways.
Consider this: Teammate Michael Ryder makes $4 million a season. He finished up the 2009-2010 campaign with only 33 points, 10 less than Recchi. Yet, he makes $3 million more per season, and is arguably deficient to Rex in every category other than scoring.
With the Bruin’s so tight up against the cap, a player that carries such a discounted price tag just because he wants to play, is one you just cant pass up if you're Peter Chiarelli.
With the No. 2 selection in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, the Bruin's will net one of the top two NHL prospects in Taylor Hall or Tyler Seguin. They are both said to have unparalleled skill-sets, and are expected to be immediate impact players. But as good as they are, "The Show" is different than any other league and with young talent, a veteran presence becomes even more important.
Recchi would make the perfect mentor/role model for either rookie, and with his team-oriented attitude, you can bet he'd be happy to take either one of them under his wing.
He'd be able to show them not only how to correct technicalities in their hockey game, but, also how to carry themselves on and off the ice in order to maintain a gleaming reputation. They are both said to be great, well-rounded kids, but fame has the ability to change a person, and their parents aren't going to be able to be there all the time, that's where Rex steps in.