Recchi returns to Pens after brief stint with Canes

PITTSBURGH -- Mark Recchi returned to the Pittsburgh Penguins for the third time in his career.

Recchi played 63 games for the Penguins last season, scoring 24 goals and 33 assists, before he was traded to the Stanley Cup champion Carolina Hurricanes. He became a free agent when the Hurricanes opted not to pick up a one-year option on his contract for $2.28 million and signed with the Penguins for that amount on Tuesday.

The 38-year-old winger was drafted by the Penguins in 1988 and played on Pittsburgh's first Stanley Cup-winning team during the 1990-91 season before he was traded to Philadelphia. After 13 seasons with the Flyers and the Montreal Canadiens, the Penguins signed Recchi as a free agent before the 2004-05 season, which was wiped out by the lockout.

"Two years ago, I made the decision to come back and help. That's what keeps bringing me back," he said.

Recchi had four goals and three assists in 20 regular-season games with the Hurricanes and seven goals and nine assists in 25 playoff games.

A seven-time All-Star, Recchi has scored at least 20 goals in six straight seasons. In 17 seasons, Recchi has played 1,256 games and recorded 484 goals, 1,265 points and 848 penalty minutes.

Before Recchi was traded this spring, there were reports he didn't get along with some younger players, notably star rookie Sidney Crosby. But Recchi said he will blend in well with Crosby and Colby Armstrong.

"We've talked and I have seen the young guys and there are no problems at all. They are all great kids," Recchi said. "I don't think there were any issues. I am trying to help these young guys out and help them get through things. They know I am here to help them."

Once the lockout ended, the Penguins signed other veterans including defenseman Sergei Gonchar and forward John LeClair, but the team finished with a franchise-worst 60 losses in 82 games and missed the playoffs for a fourth straight season.

Recchi wants to play beyond his new one-year deal.

"I see all the young players that we have. There are so many nice pieces. I want to help them out and help them get to the next level and be part of it," Recchi said. "I want to try to play a couple more years.

"Hopefully, I can play well enough and I can get the opportunity to maybe come back and play another year after this," he said.