Ference honored to show respects to Recchi

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Ference honored to show respects to Recchi

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com Staff Reporter Follow @dannypicard

BOSTON --If you walked into the Bruins dressing room on Thursdaynight, youd notice Mark Recchis equipment hanging underneath the nameplate ofhis cubby, in its usual spot.

But Recchi wont be playing another NHL game. It was nothingmore than a sign of respect and admiration the Bruins organization holds forthe veteran leader, who helped them raise their sixth Stanley Cup championshipbanner.

Before that banner was raised, Recchi suited up with histeammates one last time and took part in the pregame festivities, whichincluded one final hoisting of the Cup, as well as a surprise gift which wasthrown Recchis way.

Several days before Thursdays season opener, a few Bruinsplayers thought it would be a good idea to give Recchi one more parting gift.They felt they owed it to him.

So just before the 2011 championship banner was raised,Andrew Ference skated to the podium, and from one assistant captain toanother presented him with the teams vintage player of the game jacket,which the Bs busted out last season.

It was originally purchased on eBay by Ference, and it wasput to good use.

On Thursday night, it was handed off to its rightful owner,and the Bruins couldnt be happier to give it to him.

The guys who set it up asked me if they thought it was a good ideaor not, said Ference after Bostons 2-1 season-opening loss to thePhiladelphia Flyers. I thought it was an awesome idea. It was so short a time period, we gotto keep it under wraps. We didnt have to tell anybody. I think there wereabout four people that knew it was happening.

Its tough to find a way to correctly honor a guy with acareer like that, added Ference. We all know hes going to get to the Hall ofFame, and the stuff like that. But I think something from the players means alot to a guy like that.

Hes extremely respected in this room, and around theleague, so any way to show our respect for him is something that we jump on forsure and were honored to do.

Recchi spoke during the first intermission, and said he wassurprised and choked up by the unexpected gift. He also said the jacketwill be placed in a case somewhere in the Bs dressing room, and he wont keepit for himself.

Thursday night was a special moment for every Bruins playerwho was a member of last seasons Stanley Cup run, but everybody in the roomknows how special Recchi was to that team. And on Thursday, they gave him onefinal sendoff.

It was only fitting that Ference was a major part of thatsendoff. Not because he presented Recchi with the jacket, but also becausehell be replacing Recchi as the co-assistant captain (him and Chris Kelly willsplit the title).

And presenting Recchi with the jacket was extra special toFerence.

He brought it, every day, said Ference. Thats the key toany good job or any good career, is to enjoy what youre doing. He truly lovedthe game, and in the course of actually playing, the determination that heshowed. Sometimes you wouldnt even realize it until you watch the highlights,just how hard he was working in the corners and battling and skating for thepuck.

He played beyond his age. He played like a little kid outthere, just with everything he had.

The Bruins lose a whole lot of leadership in Recchi thisseason. But they hope his presence has helped others like Ference learnfrom that leadership, and pick up where he left off.

We strive to live up to the bar that he sets, saidFerence. I mean, thats what leaders do. They set a standard, and put the barout there, and challenge everybody else to try to get where theyre at.

Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.

Kalman: Bruins have to wait for secondary market of defensemen

Kalman: Bruins have to wait for secondary market of defensemen

Matt Kalman provides his take on what the Boston Bruins should do in terms of potentially landing a top defenseman this offseason.

Bruins taking a chance on Clarke in the fifth round

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Bruins taking a chance on Clarke in the fifth round

The Lone Star Brahmas aren’t exactly a household name in the junior hockey world, but NAHL team did produce a player worth of a Bruins draft pick last weekend. A 20-year-old defenseman named Cameron Clarke showed his offensive skills and playmaking en route to nine goals and 50 points in 59 games last season for the Brahmas, and continued to add strength to a wiry 6-foot-1, 170-pound frame that still needs to be developed as he heads off to Ferris State University.

The Tecumseh, Michigan native was floored at the prospect of being drafted by the Bruins after he was selected in the fifth round (136th overall) at last weekend’s draft in Buffalo, and excited to see some results for all of his hard work over the last few years.

“It’s a feeling like no other. I was just sitting in there with my family and when it happened, it was just pure excitement, and to go to Boston, they’re an Original Six organization,” said Clarke, who described himself as a good-skating defenseman and a good puck-mover that models his game after Capitals D-man John Carlson. “It’s just — it’s something you dream of growing up and it’s a great feeling.

“I talked to Mr. Sullivan [Bruins Scout Keith Sullivan] I believe it was in December and I knew that they had come watch me play a couple of times so I knew that they were interested. I knew that they were a team that could be a possibility that could be picking me and I’ve always watched hockey and my dad used to be a Bruins fan growing up when he was little [he grew up in Ottawa and was a big Bobby Orr fan], so it’s a great feeling. Boston’s an Original Six franchise. It’s very special, for sure.”

Clarke will obviously take a big step in his development headed to the Ferris State hockey program next season, and the Bruins hope to continue seeing improvements in the size and strength department during his college hockey years.

“We knew there were teams that were there [ready to take him], and our guys really liked him,” said Bruins Director of Scouting Keith Gretzky. “He’s gained a lot of weight in a year-and-a-half, but we know he’s going to take some time. We’re good with that. Our guys really liked him, so we took him.”

The Clarke pick is a pretty low risk/high reward selection that was off the beaten path of the normal OHL/European junior league paths, but it remains to be seen if it will pay dividends later for selecting the over-age player.