Among the many highlights on this player’s sterling resume are three Stanley Cup championships with three different teams during a stellar 22-season NHL career.
Mark Recchi, a Kamloops, British Columbia native born February 1, 1968, starred for his hometown Blazers of the Western Hockey League when he was drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1988. He turned pro that fall and made his NHL debut during the 1988-89 season. In 1990-91, Recchi’s 40 goals and 113 points led Pittsburgh, and fuelled in part by his 34 playoff points, the team enjoyed sipping champagne from the Stanley Cup when the Penguins defeated the Minnesota North Stars. Recchi was dealt to cross-state rivals the Philadelphia Flyers in February 1993. In the City of Brotherly Love, Recchi joined a line with Brent Fedyk and Eric Lindros tagged the ‘Crazy Eights,’ and in 1992-93, he enjoyed a career season with 53 goals and 123 points, setting a new Flyers’ single season scoring record.
Two years later, in February 1995, Recchi was traded to Montreal, and was consistently one of the Canadiens’ top scorers until he was reacquired by the Flyers in March 1999.
During the 1999-2000 season, Recchi finished third in scoring with 91 points (28 goals and 63 assists) and was a finalist for the Lester B. Pearson Trophy as the league’s most valuable player as voted on by the players themselves. The Flyers went to the Eastern Conference Final, but were eliminated in the seventh and deciding game.
In August 2004, Recchi returned to Pittsburgh when the Penguins signed him as a free agent. That season was lost to the league’s lock-out. At the trade deadline in March 2006, he was traded to Carolina, and that spring, was part of his second Stanley Cup championship when the Hurricanes defeated the Edmonton Oilers. Then, during the summer, he re-signed with the Penguins.
In December 2007, Mark was claimed on waivers by Atlanta and finished the season with the Thrashers. In that off-season, he signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning. His veteran presence aided the Lightning, but out of contention, the team traded Recchi to the Bruins at the trade deadline in March 2009. The Bruins went to the playoffs, but lost to the Flyers in the Eastern Conference semi-final.
In what proved to be his 22nd and final NHL season, Recchi and the Bruins went to the Stanley Cup final and captured Lord Stanley’s legacy in a series against the Vancouver Canucks. It was the third championship for Recchi, and positioned him as one of just ten players who had won the Stanley Cup with three different teams. The others were Al Arbour, Frank Foyston, Larry Hillman, Hap Holmes, Mike Keane, Claude Lemieux, Joe Nieuwendyk, Gord Pettinger and Jack Walker. He was also just the eighth player to win a Stanley Cup championship in three different decades. In addition, with a goal in Game Two against the Canucks, Recchi became the oldest player (43) to score a goal in a Stanley Cup Final. He added two more goals in the third game of the series.
Mark Recchi played in 1,652 regular season games, fourth most in NHL history at the time. He scored 577 goals and added 956 assists for 1,533 points, twelfth best all-time at the time of his retirement. In post-season play, he added 61 goals and 87 assists for 148 points in 189 playoff games. Additionally, Recchi was selected to play in seven All-Star Games, and was the most valuable player in 1997’s All-Star contest, He was named to the NHL’s Second All-Star Team in 1991-92. In international competitions, Mark was included on Canada’s World Championship squad in 1990, 1993 and won a gold medal with the team in 1997. Mark Recchi was also a member of Canada’s Olympic ice hockey team in Nagano in 1998.