Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Mark Recchi Waived

In a move that's had it's writing on the wall for a long time now, it appears Mark Recchi's stint as a Pittsburgh Penguin is over. And there will be no next time.

Kind of sad, as the Penguins put him on waivers today.

That link says that Recchi was a part of both Pittsburgh Stanley Cup teams, which is inaccurate. Rare that TSN is inaccurate, but they are here. Recchi was a member of the 1991 SC Champions, but he was traded to Philadelphia in a deadline deal in February of 1992; the deal in which the Penguins acquired Rick Tocchet, Kjell Samuelsson and Ken Wregget.

Recchi's due to make $1.75 million this year before becoming a free agent, and since the season is 31% over, a team that wished to pick him up would only be obligated for the about $1.20 million that remains.

If there are no takers, a precedent has been set by another Penguin who hit the wall and fell out of the NHL at about this time last season. That, of course, being John LeClair. The Pens waived him but found no takers. After talks with LeClair and his agents, the team ended up sending him to the minors. LeClair decided not to report and was given an unconditional release shortly there after. The Penguins did not have to pay him any longer, but the full value of his contract was considered "dead weight" and not dropped off the salary cap. Since the Penguins are not close to the cap ceiling and won't be again this season, having that kind of dead weight is not a big issue.

Unlike LeClair, Recchi may have a little something in the tank, and may be re-invigorated in a new setting. He played pretty well in Carolina's Stanley Cup run in 2006 so a change of scenery might give him a spark. After all, it wasn't as if Recchi wasn't GETTING scoring chance, just that he wasn't converting them. Plus he was giving the puck away too much.

If he found the right situation to play on a team as a 2nd/3rd line winger for 14-16 minutes a night total and get a little PP time and the occasional night off, I think Recchi would make a good option for a team that could benefit from a little added skill. Plus Recchi's a pretty good veteran leader and has handeled this whole situation with a lot of class and dignity.

Hopefully his run as a professional hockey player isn't over yet....But it does seem to be a chapter that's ended in Pittsburgh.

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