Each day this week we’ll feature one player video from the end-of-the-year breakup session the Bruins held Monday at the TD Banknorth Garden. Today’s video: Mark Recchi.
A so-called late-season rental after being acquired at the NHL trading deadline in early March, veteran forward Mark Recchi wouldn’t mind extending his two-decade career if the Bruins want to check him out again this winter.
The Bruins acquired Recchi in a swap with Tampa Bay that sent forward Matin Karsums and defenseman Matt Lashoff to the Lightning in exchange for the 41-year-old right wing and a second-round pick in 2010.
Recchi chipped in 16 points in 18 regular-season games with the Bruins and finished with 61 points overall (23 goals, 38 assists) for the 2008-09 season.
Despite all the bumps and bruises endured, particularly in the postseason, Recchi expressed an interest in a return to Boston.
“Yeah, I’d like to play,” Recchi said when asked about another year in the NHL. “I love it here. Obviously, (the Bruins) have some decisions to make. But I really enjoyed it here. I stressed that to them. I’m at a position in my life where I can play where I want to play for a few months. I’m not going to play just to play. Boston would be a place I would want to come back to. If it doesn’t work out and they don’t have room, I might not play. We’l see how it goes.
“(Bruins general manager) Peter (Chiareli) has a lot of work to do. I feel for GMs these days.”
Chiarelli said the Bruins will keep Recchi in mind as the team builds its 2009-10 roster.
“I can tell you what I’ve told Mark, that we’re not sure what we’re going to do yet, and we have to see how a couple things unfold,” said Chiarelli. “He’s told us that he wants to come back.”
You couldn’t blame Recchi if he simply wanted to hang up his skates. He recounted Monday how he overcame not only a rib injury sustained in Game 4 (Recchi scored goals in Games 5 and 6), but surgery to remove a kidney stone little more than 24 hours before the season-ending Game 7 loss to the Hurricanes.
“It Just go to point where it was not going to come out, so they had to go in and get it,” Recchi explained. “The night before Game 7… I went into surgery, probably about 5 p.m.; got out about 8-8:30… They loaded me up with meds and sent me on my way.”
Amazingly, Recchi logged nearly 22 minutes of ice time in that Game 7 loss to the Hurricanes. The rib injury sustained in Game 4 didn’t help matters.
“I was pretty sore,” said Recchi. “I don’t wish it on anyone. We all play through stuff and it’s no big deal for many guys. I felt like I could still help the team and play. It happened after Game 4… I did something to my rib. When I got the X-ray it had gotten progressively worse.”
His gutsy effort wasn’t lost on coach Claude Julien or his teammates.
“This is where you really hope that guys pay attention to that because here he was… rolling into the trainer’s room with an IV stuck to him and was willing to play as long as they would allow him to,” said Julien. “You wonder why guys like that win Stanley Cups and that’s a guy willing to do whatever it takes. This was probably the best thing that some of our guys could see, is the sacrifice that this guy was willing to make, even at this stage in his career, this point of his career. It doesn’t matter, he was willing to do whatever it took, and I know that a lot of players were probably in awe of what he did.”
Even on Monday, four days after the Bruins’ elimination, Recchi admitted he still didn’t feel himself. But he still kept a sense of humor about the surgery, joking about kidney stones running in his family with his brother and father having endured them.
“I got a couple more kicking around in there,” joked Recchi. “I hope they don’t come out any time soon.”
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