NHL Database: Mark Recchi
NHL Database: Mark Recchi.
On my first installment of NHL Database, I have selected to write about Mark Recchi. The NHL Database articles will feature my favorite players from the past. I will discuss about their achievements and playing styles. Each one of these great players will have information about their goal scoring styles, playmaking, skating, and other features. Mark Recchi was an easy choice, because he was my favorite player growing up.
Biography: Mark Recchi was born on the 1st of February, 1968, in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada. He played in the NHL for 22 years (1988-2011), winning 3 Stanley Cups in 1991, 2006, and 2011. Playing for 7 different teams, Recchi was elected into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2017.
Goal-Scoring: Mark Recchi was a natural goal-scorer. He scored 30 or more goals 7 times, including a whopping 53 goals in the 1992-93 season, playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. Recchi knew where to shoot the puck. His shot was dangerous from the off-wing. Watching a lot of tape in the past, he liked to use Rocket Richard’s cut-back move, while riding a wrist shot back across. He could shoot from any position. Recchi, in my opinion, was one of the most underrated players in the league for quite a while.
Passing: I think that Mark Recchi was an outstanding passer in the 90’s. To be honest, his assists output would have been larger had he played with natural goal-scorers. Recchi had 40 or more assists 12 times in his career, including 73 assists in the 90-91 season for the Pittsburgh Penguins. He could find anyone on the ice. It did not matter where they were. Mark did not pass the puck instinctively, but most often would wait until the time was right. He looked up at the play, never putting his head down. At some point in his career, analysts were saying that Mark Recchi was a solo artist and did not make his teammates better. That was total baloney. He made Eric Lindros a much more relaxed player. Mark, after he was traded to the Montreal Canadiens, helped refine Saku Koivu’s game. This NHL Database would be lonely without Mark Recchi in it.
Skating: Mark Recchi was a grinder. His skating was not beautiful, but it got the job done. Recchi did have enough breakaway speed. He was very efficient, solid on his skates. Speedy Gonzales he was not though. A lot of his game was where to be at the right time. This helped Mark to get away with not being to out hustle a player with better speed.
Puck-Handling: Mark Recchi was an outstanding puck-handler. Recchi kept his cool when he had the puck. I never saw him nervous with the puck. He could definitely skate from his own ice to the opponent’s end magnificently. Mark protected that puck so well, keeping it close to his skates.
Defense: Early in his career, Mark Recchi was considered a defensive liability. Later on though, he cleaned up his game. Recchi improved this part during his time in Montreal. Playing there helped him learn about the intricacies of keeping his own end impenetrable. Amazingly enough, Mark was killing penalties. He would hound the point men aggressively and knocked the puck out of the zone. Recchi would sometimes head on a breakaway at certain times and would also force opponents to pull him down for the penalty. In the latter years of his career, Mark helped several players become defensive specialists, including Brad Marchand.
Checking: Mark Recchi was an incredible player, but he did not check a lot. He did forecheck and deliver surprising hits for a relatively small guy at the time (5”10). Mark did get chippy at times, and he had a low center of gravity. It was very difficult to knock him off the puck. Recchi might have played less, if he involved himself in after the whistle skirmishes. Thankfully, he focused on the overall game.
Leader: One of the true great leaders in the NHL, Mark did most of his work on the ice. His constant devotion to helping others really manifested during his time in Carolina and Boston. Mark showed everyone how longevity can be a wonderful thing when you help others get better. Mark proved to everyone that he could play with any player and that he would hustle every shift. This really helped the young players to see the dedication one needs to have. Never taking anything for granted, Mark Recchi was a complete player.
This concludes my NHL Database article about Mark Recchi. Check out my article The Quebec Nordiques Should Get Back Their Hockey Team.