Mark Recchi is a bum.
There. Said and done. Recchi was always one of my favorite Pittsburgh Penguins players. His personality, his game play, his locker room presence, and his leadership with the younger players, all made him a man to be liked and respected.
But that all changed when he was put on waivers and picked up by the Atlanta Thrashers. Recchi went on to complain that the Penguins didn’t give him enough chances to prove that he was still a goal scorer in this league and he would show how wrong they were. In fact, in his first game with the Thrashers, Recchi scores two goals and has three goals and two assists over five games. Seems he was right after all.
Not so fast.
Recchi had scored two goals and six assists this year in 19 games and four goals in the previous 40 games playing with the Penguins. FORTY games. That’s about half a season giving him eight-plus goals for the campaign. Some goal scorer. If you need more than forty games to prove your worth, you need to find another occupation. Furthermore, he spent plenty of time on the power play, playing on the first line, and getting reasonable chances to, well, PROVE himself.
What Recchi did prove is that when he feels motivated to play better, he can. The problem was with Recchi’s attitude and desire to play for the Penguins. Did he feel jilted at not being selected team captain? Did he not like hearing the words “take on a lesser role with the team?” Who knows, and who cares.
The “Wrecking Ball” would become just that in the dressing room if left on the team with a sour attitude. And let’s be realistic. Nobody wanted to trade for Recchi, and no one picked him up when he went on waivers. Only when the Penguins did everything they could do for Recchi, by reassigning him to the Penguins, making him available for the re-entry waivers, did a team show interest, and that’s only because the Penguins are now required to pay half his salary.
Mark Recchi should be thankful that Pittsburgh did all they could do for him and are paying half his salary for this year. He should have been told to hit the road and don’t look back. Then try to negotiate a contract based on his four-goal outburst of offensive power in those past forty games. Good luck with that. Seems Kolva-sucks has found a new playmate, and they deserve each other.