Could Recchi return to Bruins in front office role?


Could Recchi return to Bruins in front office role?

By Joe Haggerty Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs

Theres no way to replace a living legend like Mark Recchi.

The 43-year-old future Hall of Famer capped off his amazing career by winning his third career Stanley Cup with the Bruins last spring, and was adamant that he wont be having any second thoughts about returning as a player.

But Recchi will still be involved in the world of hockey in a myriad of ways, even though his days as a shot-tipping wrecking ball are over. The Bruins winger doesnt want to go into coaching, but hes voiced an interest in getting involved at the management level while already gathering experience as a partial owner of his hometown Kamloops Blazers over the last several years.

It was thought the Bruins might be a comfy fit for Recchi, given the respect factor among the current core of players, and the existing appreciation for his beautiful mind when it comes to the game of hockey. But the Pittsburgh Penguins a city where Recchi and his family still make their home have also been a team that might be interested in their former scoring force.

Bruins president Cam Neely was asked about Recchis potential future in management with the Black and Gold, and Neely indicated the ball was in Recchis court when he decided which direction his future would hold.

Mark is going to get a well deserved break, I think, said Neely during the State of the Bruins event for season ticket-holders during a question-and-answer session. I think hes going to take some time, like I think he mentioned. Well certainly revisit that if Mark knocks on our door.

The thing I love is having as many ex-players around as possible. We have many of them around the city and I like it when they get involved with the team -- especially when they know what it means to be a Boston Bruins. Thats something you cant have enough of."

As for on the ice, the Bruins have invited gritty veteran Chris Clark to training camp on a tryout and have several wingers to potentially plug in with the Patrice BergeronBrad Marchand combo. It could be Rich Peverley, given his skating wheels and offensive burst, or it could be Tyler Seguin if the 19-year-old has made a quantum leap forward in his game.

Claude Julien said the players will decide who replaces Recchi as assistant captain of the team, and Shawn Thornton thinks its up to each of the 17 returning players to shoulder some of the leadership responsibility.

Itll have to be by committee," Thornton said. "Hes one of a kind. I mean a guy that wins three Cups that really speaks for itself. With everything he did off the ice, Recchi is a special man. Thats for sure. Shane Hnidy too. A lot of things that you guys wouldnt have seen behind the scenes involved Hnidy too.

Itll have to be a group effort and there are a few other guys that are another year older and more experienced, and will probably bring a little more to the table too. Well miss that leadership a little bit, but theres also some other guys that maybe its time for them to step up and fill that void a little bit too.

The Bs will have to fill that leadership void whether Recchi fills a front office role or not on Causeway Street, but the 43-year-old has left a pretty good foundation behind no matter where he ends up.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs.

Backes, Krejci look to get rolling offensively for Bruins

Backes, Krejci look to get rolling offensively for Bruins

BOSTON – While David Backes didn’t score a goal in his first home game as a member of the Bruins, his team came away with a comeback 2-1 win Thursday night over the New Jersey Devils in their home opener at TD Garden.

The 32-year-old Backes didn’t have anything on the scoreboard to show for it, but he led all Bruins with six shots on net and seven registered hits while starring as both an offensive threat and a physical presence bringing some much-needed attitude to the table.

Both qualities meshed quickly with David Krejci once they were finally together on the same line against the Devils, and immediately gave the playmaking center the kind of big, strong and offensively talented winger that he’s thrived with over the years. The whole experience also gave Backes an appreciation for his new home fans as they packed the stands to root on the Bruins Thursday night ahead of the Saturday night showdown with Montreal.

“There’s always, wherever you are, that opening night, that first game at home, that first game of the season, there’s always that extra jump, that extra energy in the building. It was everything it was talked up to be here with the fans that know the game and really thrive off the hard-nosed play,” said Backes, who has a couple of goals in four games with the Bruins this season. “It just makes you want to go out there and play harder for these people that support you, and wear that same jersey that we wear up in the stands.”

Backes had some of the best chances that didn’t go down for the Bruins against Cory Schneider, and narrowly missed a first period score when David Krejci’s centering pass was received, and then redirected by Backes just wide of the net from his spot camped in front. The right winger was at it again in the third period with a couple more chances he couldn’t put past Schneider, but served as proof that Krejci/Backes is going to have some long, possession-heavy shifts this season by virtue of both of their talents.

“There’s no doubt [the addition of Backes] helped. You’re getting, I guess, a veteran player that plays hard and goes in and gets some hits and gets some pucks out for you. But at the same time I think you have to give David [Krejci] credit, he’s been working hard trying to find his game again,” said Julien. 

“It’s not easy when you have gone through surgery like [Krejci] has, and you know he had a late start to training camp and jumping in with the rest of the group there so that really kind of sets him back a little bit but I like the direction that he is going, I think he is working hard in practice, doing extra and doing what it takes here to find his game. Tonight was one of his better games, no doubt.”

Now, Backes, Krejci and Heinen have to get rolling offensively and start to show their balanced attack among the forwards now that the entire roster seems to be locked down ahead of starting on time this weekend vs. Habs.  



Bergeron 'feeling good' in return, plays role of third period hero

Bergeron 'feeling good' in return, plays role of third period hero

BOSTON – It certainly feels appropriate that Patrice Bergeron would author a clutch game-winning goal late in the third period of his first game back after missing a week of games with a lower body injury. That Bergeron’s game-winner also arrived in the home opener at TD Garden was an added bonus once No. 37 hammered a shot from the high slot with 1:15 to go in the third period to give the Bruins their first lead of the game in a 2-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils at TD Garden.

The goal arrived courtesy of a nifty setup from linemate Brad Marchand working behind the New Jersey net, and also thanks to David Pastrnak winning a battle in the corner thanks to newfound grit in his game. But the hero of the day again turned out to be No. 37, who went from missing an entire week of action to reclaiming his center role on the top line, playing 16:49 of ice time and winning 13-of-24 face-offs while generating five shot attempts.

“I think it’s pretty obvious with what he did [against the Devils]. After being off for over a week and to come back and have one practice with us then back into the game, he scores a clutch goal for us. That’s what he has always been, a clutch player for us,” said Claude Julien. “I think the third period we gave it a really good push there and I like seeing that from our team that you come out and you don’t play on your heels and you push hard and we went down by a goal but we got our game going like I said and we got a couple goals to win this for us.”

Bergeron modestly said postgame that he was just trying to get into the flow of the game after missing a healthy chunk of time with injury. But he certainly looked like he was vintage form once it crunch time. The timing was perfect as he stepped into the one-timer shot off Marchand’s pass, and beat Cory Schneider amid a strong 34-save performance by the kid from Marblehead.

“I mean I was just trying to, I guess, get my feet wet right away and use the first few shifts to kind of just get, feel good about my positioning and my skating,” said Bergeron. “As the game went on I just felt better. Of course you want to start on a good note, especially at home, and we talked about our home record in the last few years. We wanted to do the job early, especially in the first game, and it’s one step but we’re happy with it.”

It was like Bergeron didn’t miss a single beat after missing the first three games of the season with a lower body injury, and those kinds of instincts and natural ability are things worth marveling about when it comes to the Bruins.

“I was feeling good [on the ice],” said Bergeron. “It would have been nice to ride the wave of the World Cup, but that being said I thought in the first I was trying to be good position ally and kind of get myself going with the first few shifts, and just kind of go from there. Overall I thought that happened.”

While the comeback win was certainly good news for the Bruins, the best news of all is that Bergeron has returned to the lineup with no signs of an injury that surprised everybody right before the start of the regular season.