To Hate Mark Recchi Is To Love Mark Recchi?

Posted: June 20, 2011 by JoeyD in Boston Bruins, NHL, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins
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The NHL’s ageless wonder, Mark Recchi, got to do what most can only dream of, going out on top. For the third time in his 22 year NHL career, Recchi gets his name engraved on hockey’s Holy Grail and after this latest triumph he rides off into the sunset.

Recchi is a very well respected veteran in the league and has done incredibly well to continue his longevity and in my opinion the final four years of his career were highly impressive. After Recchi’s fade early on in the 06-07 season which ended his time as a Penguin. I would have never guessed he had several more seasons left in him. I thought he was done.  His struggles made it appear that the end was near with the hands the most obvious to appear to be leaving him. So to see 4 more seasons, several of which was 40 point seasons and a shortened season where he started off at a point per game pace sure proved a lot of people wrong.

I have always found something rather intriguing about Mark Recchi. It seems that he can be the most loved and hated player amongst fans that I may have ever seen outside of the polarizing figures you get out of superstars like your Crosby’s and Ovechkin’s.

Long ago, I recall Flyers fans referring to Rex as a “Back Stabbing Rat Bastard”, yes capitalized words and BSRB for short. Often I had wondered exactly why he was referred to as such. Then recently I saw an article from Flyersfaithful.com after the Cup Finals ended that talked about Recchi had his hand in getting two Flyers  coaches fired behind the scenes, Terry Simpson in 1994 and Bill Barber in 2002. That isn’t to suggest that backstage politics isn’t commonplace behind the scenes. However it might raise an eyebrow or two when details ever surface.

Another fanbase that has mixed feelings about Recchi is the Penguins.  There were hot rumors out there there was a considerable rift between Recchi and Sidney Crosby during Crosby’s rookie year. One that Recchi downplayed the following offseason when he signed a new one year contract with the Penguins calling it overblown. Also that it reached one of it’s highest boiling points not long before Eddie Olczyk was fired in December that season.

More often than not, when a player has worn your team’s jersey, you have a degree of loyalty to that player often speaking well of him as well. It always interested me how when it came to Recchi that, especially among Penguins and Flyers fans, that he is loved by many and hated by just as many. And not surprisingly, there are quite a few who loved the player while hated the alleged image of the man.

The diversity of opinions is quite extensive. Where in this spectrum does your feelings lie?

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