One of our sister sites, Habs Eyes on the Prize, recently did a series of the top five one-and-done Canadiens players since 2000. Since it seemed like a fun idea, we decided to do the same over here at RawCharge, except we’re going all the way back to the start of the franchise. It’s a little easier for us to do that than the Habs with their long and storied history. Special thanks to Andrew Zadarnowski of HEOTP for having the idea and allowing us to run with it.
#3 Mark Recchi
Mark Recchi was (and still is) a fairly big name in NHL circles. Drafted in the 4th round in 1988 by the Pittsburgh Penguins, he spent most of his first professional season in 1988-89 with the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the IHL. He scored 50 goals and 99 points in 63 games, good for 8th in the IHL in scoring.
Recchi made a splash with the Penguins early on in his career. In 1989-90, he garnered a 5th place finish in the Calder Trophy voting for rookie of the year with a 30 goal, 67 point performance. 1990-91, though, was a huge breakout year for Recchi as he went on to score 40 goals and 113 points. He added another 34 points in 24 playoff games on the way to his first Stanley Cup championship.
Despite his success on the score sheet, his time in Pittsburgh would be short-lived. Pittsburgh traded him to the Philadelphia Flyers in February, a deal that incidentally included Recchi’s future Tampa Bay Lightning coach Rick Tocchet. After playing parts of four seasons with the Flyers, Recchi was again moved, this time to the Montreal Canadiens.
After some years with the Canadiens, he was traded back to Philadelphia and remained there until the 2004-05 lockout. In the summer of 2004, Recchi signed with the Pittsburgh Penguins, returning to the team that originally drafted him. His second stint with them didn’t last long, however, as he was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes at the trade deadline during the 2005-06 season. The Hurricanes would go on a run and capture the franchise’s first Stanley Cup, and Recchi’s second.
Recchi returned yet again to the Penguins at the start of the 2006 season, but was traded to the Atlanta Thrashers not long after the season started. After that season, he joined the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The 2007-08 season saw a lot of turnover for the Lightning. Head coach Barry Melrose lasted barely a month into the season before being replaced by Associate Head Coach Rick Tocchet. The team used four goaltenders, 18 defensemen, and 21 forwards throughout the season. Despite the turnover on the roster and with the coaching staff, Recchi put up 13 goals and 45 points in 62 games for the Lightning.
Recchi had served as an alternate captain throughout his years with the Canadiens, Flyers, and Penguins. However, he did not wear an A with the Lightning. Vincent Lecavalier served as captain and Martin St. Louis and Jeff Halpern were the team’s alternate captains.
With the trade deadline approaching, the Lightning traded Recchi and a 2nd round pick to the Boston Bruins for a couple of spare parts. The two players acquired from the Bruins would only play 35 games in the NHL for the Lightning before departing the organization. Recchi would stay with the Boston Bruins over the next two seasons. In 2010-11, he won his third Stanley Cup championship and retired from the NHL.
Before finishing his career, Recchi purchased the Kamloops Blazers of the WHL, his junior team, in 2007-08. After his retirement, he served as a senior adviser for the Dallas Stars for two seasons and then took a job with the Pittsburgh Penguins as a development coach. This summer, he was hired as an Assistant Coach for the Pittsburgh Penguins as a replacement for... Rick Tocchet. He also was elected to the Hall of Fame as a part of the 2017 class.