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Hall of Fame debate: Mark Recchi

Steve Babineau/NHLI/Getty Images

There’s no denying the impact Mark Recchi had during his 22-year career. He won three Stanley Cups with three different teams: the Pittsburgh Penguins (1991), the Carolina Hurricanes (2006) and the Boston Bruins (2011). He made a difference both on and off the ice wherever he played. Recchi could have retired after a disappointing 2009-10 season in Boston, but decided he wanted to go out a winner and stayed for one more season, helping the Bruins hoist the Cup with a win over the Vancouver Canucks in 2011. He officially announced his retirement while celebrating with his teammates on the ice at Rogers Arena. "Rex" didn’t earn induction in 2015.

The Case For

Not many can go out the way Recchi did. I still remember the image of him sitting at his locker at TD Garden after the Bruins lost in historic fashion to the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2010 Eastern Conference semifinals. The Bruins had a 3-0 series lead, but the Flyers erased that deficit and won in seven games. By the time the media was allowed in the Bruins’ locker room, all of the players were out of their equipment with the exception of Recchi. The only piece of equipment hanging in his stall was his helmet. The 2010 version of the Bruins missed their opportunity, and Recchi knew it. He said he needed time to decide whether or not he would retire. It didn’t take him long to realize the team’s potential, so he signed another one-year deal for 2010-11. It was that drive, determination and never-say-die attitude throughout his entire career that made Recchi so good, and the players around him better.

His contributions on the ice were impressive, too. He finished with 577 goals and 1,533 points (12th all time) in 1,652 games. He produced three 100-point seasons. He was extremely durable, too, routinely playing a full 82-game season. Plus, three Cup championships speaks for itself. He’s one of only three players to win a Cup with three different teams, joining Joe Nieuwendyk and Claude Lemieux.

The Case Against

You can make an argument for many players to be in the Hall of Fame. But there’s not one thing about Recchi’s career you can cite as a reason he doesn't deserve induction. Drafted by the Penguins in the fourth round of the 1988 draft (No. 67 overall), he made the most of every opportunity in his career and proved why he belongs in the Hall of Fame.

Our Vote

There’s no question Mark Recchi should be in the Hall of Fame.

ESPN panel: 82 percent voted into Hockey Hall of Fame.