There are two things worth noting at the outset about Bruins’ forward Mark Recchi. Firstly, Recchi turned 42 midway through the 2009-10 season, and secondly that despite his age he can still make on-ice contributions to an NHL team.
Recchi’s production dropped from 61 points in 2008-09 to 43 in 2009-10, but that was still an impressive total on the Bruins; he ranked third in total points, third in even-strength points, and third in power play points among Bruins forwards. I think it’s also a good bet that Recchi can do better, despite his age.
Over the last three years, Recchi has been one of the league’s most effective power play scorers. In 2007-08, Recchi scored 5.26 PTS/60, leading the Thrashers in power play efficiency. In 2008-09, Recchi scored 5.50 PTS/60, just a hair back of Marc Savard as the Bruins’ best scorer. This year saw a sharp decrease, down to 3.91 PTS/60, although that still placed him among the Bruins leaders. Power play scoring is highly specialized, and older players don’t seem to lose their effectiveness there as quickly as they do elsewhere. The Bruins power play was anaemic this year when deprived of Savard, and I suspect Recchi suffered as a result (although the total he posted is still quite good).
Recchi also played surprisingly difficult minutes at even-strength, handling that role as Patrice Bergeron’s regular winger. According to Behind the Net, Recchi finished second on the team in quality of competition. All his underlying numbers were very good, and he led the team in goal-scoring in the playoffs.
According to NESN.com, Recchi wants to come back for another year in Boston, although the team may not have room to bring him back. According to the report, Recchi would likely be willing to settle for the same $1.0 million salary that he was paid last season – and at that price, he’s a bargain.
An NHL team looking for secondary scoring could do a lot worse than Mark Recchi.