Mark Recchi

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Hockey Hall of Fame class of 2017 grew the game in many ways

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The Hockey Hall of Fame will induct its 2017 class Monday night in Toronto. The seven individuals who will be enshrined include five players and two builders.

Clare Drake, Jeremy Jacobs, Dave Andreychuk, Danielle Goyette, Paul Kariya, Mark Recchi and Teemu Selanne will join the many other legends inside the old bank building on Yonge Street forever. Their contributions as a whole, no matter their position in hockey, helped grow the game to what it’s known as today.

Builder

Clare Drake — The most successful coach in Canadian university hockey history won six national championships in 28 years at the University of Alberta. He retired in 1989 with a record of 697-296-37, which comes out to a .695 winning percentage. Drake not only contributed at the university level, he also spent time at the professional level with a year coaching the Edmonton Oilers in the WHA in 1975-76, working as a Winnipeg Jets assistant in 1989-90 and helping out the Dallas Stars during the 2001 Stanley Cup Playoffs. He was also behind the bench for Canada’s entry at the 1980 Olympic Games in Lake Placid, N.Y. Drake’s last legacy may be his role in developing players and educating coaches through his contributions to the Canadian Coaching Certification Program.

Jeremy Jacobs — Since purchasing the Boston Bruins since 1975, the franchise has made the Stanley Cup Final six times, winning once. He’s been Chairman of the NHL Board of Governors for the last 10 years was the recipient of the Lester Patrick Trophy in 2015 for his “outstanding service to hockey in the United States.”

Player

Dave Andreychuk — Only 13 players in NHL history have scored more goals than Andreychuk, who put up 640 in 1,639 NHL games. Of those 640 goals, 274 came on the power play, the most in NHL history. A two-time All-Star and 2004 Stanley Cup champion with the Tampa Bay Lightning, ‘Andy’ hit the 50-goal mark twice in his career. It also hard to imagine many of his goals that weren’t scored from around the blue paint.

Danielle Goyette — A two-time Olympic goal medalist and eight-time winner at the World Championship as part of Team Canada, Goyette hung up her skates with 113 goals and 105 assists in 171 games representing her country. During the 1998 Olympics, she led all players with eight goals. Four years later, in helping Canada win gold, she tied for the scoring lead with 10 points. In 2006, as she helped her country to a second straight gold, she was selected as flag bearer during the Opening Ceremonies. Currently, Goyette is the second-leading scorer in women’s Olympic history with 15 goals.

Paul Kariya — Kariya’s hockey accomplishments didn’t just come while part of the NHL. Before he was drafted fourth overall by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, he won the World Junior Championship with Canada and later the NCAA title with Maine in 1993. A year later he would win gold at the World Championship and in 2002 was part of the Olympic winning Canadian side at the Salt Lake Games. Eleven games shy of 1,000 games for his career, he finished with 402 goals and 989 points — on the dot to be a point per game player over his career. A two-time Lady Byng winner and seven-time All-Star, Kariya is well-remembered for his goal during the 2003 Stanley Cup Final, which came 10 minutes after a vicious hit from Scott Stevens of the New Jersey Devils:

Mark Recchi —One of four players in NHL history to play more than 1,700 games, Recchi enters the Hall as a five-time Stanley Cup champion, three of which came during his playing career. He’s one of 10 players in history to win a title on three different NHL teams, and his career ended with 577 goals and 1,533 points. Outside of a 15-game first NHL year, he scored double digit goals in 21 straight seasons.

Teemu Selanne —Selanne introduced himself to the NHL world in spectacular fashion with a 76-goal, Calder Trophy winning rookie season in 1992-93. The goals continued over the next 22 years as the “Finnish Flash” scored 684 of them, good for 11th all-time. He’s also the all-time leading scorer in Olympic history with 43 points in 37 games. His trophy case is filled with one Stanley Cup, a Masterton Trophy, Rocket Richard Trophy, four bronze and one silver Olympic medals, and silver and bronze from the World Championship, among many other honors. We all, of course, remember the goal and celebration that helped him break the rookie goal scoring record in 1993:

Also being honored in Toronto are Cam Cole, winner of the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award “in recognition of distinguished members of the newspaper profession whose words have brought honor to journalism and to hockey” as selected by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association, and late NHL play-by-play man Dave Strader, who is this year’s Foster Hewitt Memorial Award honoree for his outstanding contributions as a hockey broadcaster.

What are you favorite memories from this year’s inductees?

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Chris Phillips thinks Mark Recchi is “uninformed” about labor situation

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Mark Recchi speaking his mind about the players needing to settle with the NHL now and take their most recent offer isn’t sitting well.

Ken Warren from Senators Extra hears it from Ottawa defenseman Chris Phillips that Recchi doesn’t seem to know what he’s talking about.

“I guess I would say it’s an uninformed answer, unless he’s now tied in with ownership somewhere or wants to get involved with ownership and trying to take that side,” said Phillips, the Senators player representative. “Unless you’re on the calls and know what’s going on all the time, I don’t know what those comments are based on. Because he’s not involved.”

First it was Recchi being criticized for his take on concussions and now this. Going from a doctor to a lawyer is rough.

For what it’s worth, Phillips has had an active role in CBA negotiations and he’s clearly protective over what the players are trying to do, but Recchi isn’t the only former player encouraging the current players to get a deal done ASAP.

Recchi on lockout: Time for players “to think like businessmen”

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Mark Recchi has a message for locked-out NHL players — get a deal done now, because the owner’s offers won’t get any better.

That’s what the former Bruin told the Boston Globe, explaining that players need to “think like businessmen” as the lockout approaches Day 60.

“The longer it goes, the worse [the offer] is going to get [for the players],” he said. “Hey, I’m an owner, too, so I see both sides. We lose money on our team, and obviously that’s not the same, the money’s not nearly as significant as in the NHL, but the business dynamics are similar. We’ve lost money every year we’ve owned it.’’

Recchi is a part owner of the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers. That, along with his lengthy playing career, gives him a unique perspective regarding work stoppages.

He was in Philadelphia for the strike of 1992, in Montreal for the 1995 lockout and signed with Pittsburgh out of the 2004-05 lost season (he was eventually traded to Carolina that year, and won the Cup with the ‘Canes.)

Recchi says that, based solely on the numbers, it makes sense for players to resume playing.

“The longer they’re out, the revenues are going to go down and down,’’ he said. “Corporate sponsors aren’t going to be lining up . . . so there goes that money. The schedule isn’t going to be 82 games, I don’t think, at this point. That’s more money lost.

“So, how are you going to get a better deal? Personally, I think the best time is now.”

Recchi also made a salient point about the perception of “winning” and “losing” negotiations.

The NHLPA was largely considered to be the latter after the last CBA, yet eventually emerged with a number of massive salaries and a 57 percent share of record revenues.

“Look at that last deal,” he said. “We ended up with the cap and everyone thought it was a bad deal. But it ended up great, right?

“No matter what the system is, or has been, the players get their money.”

Rolston reacts to redemption: “More than any words can say”

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Sports fans might know that putting on the New York Yankees’ pinstripes can rejuvenate a player, but the Boston Bruins’ “spoked-B” could have similar results. Mark Recchi was one of the team’s leading scorers in his final season during the 2011 Stanley Cup run, yet Brian Rolston’s twilight tide turn is even more surprising.

Kirk Luedeke caught up with Rolston, who has three points in three playoff contests, a five-game points streak and 17 points in 15 games since March 15.

Asked Brian Rolston after the game how gratifying it was to be back in Boston- he paused & then quietly said: “More than any words can say.”

Rolston admitted that he might have been too young to appreciate his Stanley Cup run with the New Jersey Devils all the way back in 1995. Scoring 17 points in 15 games is impressive in just about any context, but considering the fact that Rolston’s career seemed flat-out over with the New York Islanders during this same season, his turnaround is nothing short of stunning.

And much like Recchi’s last hurrah, it could be worth savoring.

Canadiens make Max Pacioretty their Masterton nominee

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Not a whole lot has gone right for the Montreal Canadiens this season, yet one story shines as an undeniable inspiration. The Habs decided to name Max Pacioretty as their candidate for the 2012 Bill Masterton Trophy.

In case you’re unfamiliar, the trophy is awarded to the player “who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.” Pacioretty has had his run-ins with Brendan Shanahan’s disciplinary committee this season so maybe the sportsmanship part might not be his strong suit, but the other two factors have been on full display.

(To be fair regarding the Kris Letang hit, Pacioretty showed class in immediately apologizing for the check.)

After withstanding an incredibly unlucky hit from Zdeno Chara last season, many would find it hard to believe that Pacioretty would bounce back to score 30 goals and 27 assists for 57 points this season. In fact, some wondered if he’d ever play (or even walk) again.

(Mark Recchi wasn’t in that club.)

His season’s certainly been an example of perseverance, so the Habs probably didn’t need to deliberate the choice for very long. Who are some other players from other teams who come to mind as good candidates for the award, though?