Flyers Top 25 in 25: Mark Recchi, Quick Hits for Sept. 4
September 4, 2017, 8:47 AM ET [35 Comments]
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QUICK HITS: SEPTEMBER 4, 2017
1)OHL Preseason: Morgan Frost scored a goal (second straight game) and won 12 of 14 faceoffs as the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds defeated the visiting Saginaw Spirit via shootout, 5-4. Frost was unsuccessful on his shootout attempt in round three. Connor Bunnaman notched an assist as the Kitchener Rangers held on to defeat the host Erie Otters, 3-2, on Sunday. Maksim Sushko did not get on the scoresheet and had one shot on goal as the Owen Sound Attack crushed the visiting Barrie Colts, 5-1.
2) WHL Preseason: Carter Hart turned back 42 of 46 shots (.913 SV%) as the Everett Silvertips beat the visiting Portland Winterhawks, 5-4, on Sunday.
3) Flyers Alumni Birthday: John Vanbiesbrouck (1963).
4) Sept. 4 in Flyers History: In 1979, the Flyers named recently retired Bernie Parent as the team's new goaltending coach to work in conjunction with his own idol and mentor, Jacques Plante.
FLYERS TOP 25 IN THE LAST 25 YEARS: MARK RECCHI
Recently honored with selection to the Hockey Hall of Fame as part of its 2017 induction class, Mark Recchi ranks 8th on the Flyers all-time scoring list, is tied for fourth on the all-time assist list and tied for 11th in goals. He averaged 1.04 point-per-game over his 602 regular season games (18th most all-time) with the Flyers.
A star in the Western Hockey League for Ken Hitchcock's Kamloops Blazers, for whom he racked up 61 goals, 93 assists and 154 points during the 1987-88 season, a 20-year-old Recchi was selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the fourth round (67th overall) of the 1988 NHL Draft after first being eligible for the Draft in 1986.
Recchi was undersized in stature (5-foot-10) and had an awkward-looking skating style but was a supreme offensive talent with outstanding hockey sense. He went on to become of the NHL's top offensive players from the early 1990s through the mid-2000s in a career that spanned a portion of the 1988-89 season to the 2010-11 campaign.
Along the way, the player posted 577 goals, 956 assists and 1,553 points in 1,652 total regular season games. He also dressed in 189 career playoff games. Recchi had three 100-plus point seasons, a 97-point season and a 91-point season, one 50-goal season and four with 40-plus goals. He collected Stanley Cup rings with three teams, but his Flyers teams twice fell one win short of reaching the Cup Finals.
While often described as a sniper for his wrist shot and quick release, Recchi was arguably even better as a playmaker. Many of the best years of Recchi's career were spent in Philadelphia. He was widely respected among his teammates.
He enjoyed two stellar stints as a Flyers after being acquired in trades with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Montreal Canadiens. Recchi recorded 627 points (232 goals and 395 assists) in 620 regular season games as a Flyer. He dressed in 65 playoff games, all in his second stint, posting 19 goals and 39 points.
The Flyers made a blockbuster trade with Pittsburgh on February 19, 1992. Philadelphia gave up team captain Rick Tocchet, stalwart defensive defenseman Kjell Samuelsson and goalie Ken Wregget plus a 1992 third-round pick (used on the selection Dave Roche). In return, the Flyers received Recchi, defenseman Brian Benning and a 1992 first-round pick (used on the selection of defenseman/winger Jason Bowen) originally belonging to the LA Kings.
Recchi, who was a member of Pittsburgh's Stanley Cup winning 1990-91 team and enjoyed his first career 100-point season that year (40 goals, 73 assists, 113 points), had produced 33 goals and 70 points for Pittsburgh in 1991-92 up until the time of the trade to the Flyers. Upon his arrival in Philadelphia, Recchi posted an additional 10 goals and 27 points overall the final 22 games of the season.
During the summer of 1992, the Flyers made arguably the biggest and certainly the most controversial trade in club history as they acquired the rights to teenaged franchise player Eric Lindros from the Quebec Nordiques. The troika of Lindros, Recchi and center Rod Brind'Amour became the Flyers' nucleus.
In 1992-93, primarily playing right wing on a unit with Lindros and Brent Fedyk dubbed "the Crazy Eights" line, Recchi set a team single-season scoring record with 123 points (53 goals, 70 assists) in 84 games and won the Bobby Clarke Trophy as Flyers' most valuable players. His 70 assists were the third-highest single-season total in Flyers' history.
The next year, with rookie Mikael Renberg taking over a top line spot along with Recchi and Lindros, Recchi enjoyed a 40-goal, 107-point season. The Flyers, however, remained on the outside of the playoff picture as their drought of missing the postseason reached five straight season.
Following a lockout that forced the cancellation of the first half of the 1994-95 season, the Flyers got off to a slow start in the 48-game schedule that was created after the end of the work stoppage.
On February 9, 1995, the Flyers made another blockbuster trade. This time, Philadelphia traded Recchi and a 1995 third-round pick (Martin Hohenberger) to the Montreal Canadiens for forward John LeClair, defenseman Eric Desjardins and forward Gilbert Dionne.
Although Recchi remained a fine player during his time with the Canadiens, the trade proved to be a boon to the Flyers. Philadelphia transformed, almost instantly, from a non-playoff team to a Stanley Cup contender.
Recchi was eligible for unrestricted free agency after the 1998-99 season. Increasingly pessimistic about the player remaining in Montreal, the Canadiens traded Recchi back to the Flyers on March 10, 1999 in exchange for young forward Dainius Zubrus, a 1999 second-round pick (Matt Carkner) and a 2000 sixth-round pick (Scott Selig) originally belonging to the New York Islanders.
A late-March concussion slowed Recchi for the rest of the season, although he returned to the Flyers' lineup after missing just three games. On May 10, 1999, Recchi signed a five-year contract extension with the Flyers to pre-empt his impending unrestricted free agency.
The 31-year-old player was no longer a 100-point player in a league where scoring was in decline. He was, however, a more well-rounded and versatile forward than he was during his first go-round with the club.
Perhaps the best two-way season of Recchi's Flyers career came in 1999-2000, as he not only compiled 91 points but also posted a Philadelphia career-best plus-20 rating and, at different junctures played left wing and even center in addition to his preferred right wing position. Recchi placed seventh in the NHL's Hart Trophy balloting and earned his second Bobby Clarke Trophy.
During the latter portion of Recchi's time with the Flyers, he was reunited with his former junior coach Hitchcock. In 2003, Recchi's triple-overtime goal in Toronto knotted the Eastern Conference quarterfinals at two games apiece. The Flyers went on to win the war of a series in seven games.
A third Bobby Clarke Trophy followed in 2003-04 as Recchi posted a team-high 75 points in 82 games for a club that had adopted a very defensively conscious style of play under Hitchcock. Much of the damage was done on the power play, where Recchi racked up 14 goals. In the playoffs, the Flyers fell just one win shy of reaching the Stanley Cup Final, losing a heartbreaking 2-1 decision in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final.
The year-long NHL lockout of 2004-05 resulted in the cancellation of the season. As an agreement was finally reached between the League and the Players' Association, a salary cap was added to a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). The Flyers did not retain Recchi and, for cap compliance, bought out the remaining contracts of LeClair and Tony Amonte while trading Jeremy Roenick to the Los Angeles Kings in order to accommodate the free agent signing of superstar center Peter Forsberg.
Recchi remained in the NHL for an additional six seasons following the end of his second stint with the Flyers. He earned a second Stanley Cup ring as a member of the 2005-06 Carolina Hurricanes, contributing 16 points (seven goals and nine assists) in 25 playoff games during the team's run to the championship. His final 20-plus goal season came at age 38, when he posted 24 goals and 68 points while dressing in every game of the 2006-07 season; the first year of Recchi's one-plus-season third stint with the Penguins.
Recchi's NHL playing career ended gloriously. In 2010-11, as a member of the Boston Bruins, he lifted the Stanley Cup for the third and final time, and contributed 14 points (five goals, nine assists) during the 25-game run. The 43-year-old player, who set an NHL record as the oldest player to score a goal in the Stanley Cup Final, retired after the season.