Penguins place Recchi on waivers
A few weeks ago, Mark Recchi talked about how much fun he would have in retirement -- watching from the stands and enjoying a few beers as Sidney Crosby guided the Penguins to countless victories.
He could get that chance sooner than he or anybody associated with the Penguins would have imagined in September.
Recchi, 39, was placed on waivers Tuesday before the Penguins' traveled to Edmonton, where they will open a four-game road trip against the Oilers tonight.
If he is not claimed by noon today, it could mark the end of Recchi's career, which has spanned 19 seasons and included three stints and parts of seven years with the Penguins.
Recchi's history with the organization that drafted him 67th overall in 1988 and relationship with the city his family calls home are reasons Penguins general manager Ray Shero termed the events of yesterday "tough."
"Quite honestly, it was not pleasant for me," Shero said. "You are dealing with a veteran player that I personally have a lot of respect for.
"I believe this is as amicable as it can be."
Shero said he attempted to trade Recchi, who did not return phone calls.
However, with no takers for the third-leading scorer among active players, Shero said he, Recchi and the player's agent, Rich Curran, thought it "best to try something different."
Curran said Recchi had no plans to retire.
"There is no reason for him to retire because he can still play," Curran said.
Recchi appeared in 19 games this season. He scored two goals and recorded eight points, but was a healthy scratch in seven of the past eight games.
His last game with the Penguins was Nov. 17.
He did not dress against the Phoenix Coyotes at Mellon Arena on Monday, a night when fans were presented with bobblehead dolls in Recchi's likeness to commemorate his 500th-goal milestone from last season.
Recchi rates among the top scorers in Penguins' history with 154 goals and 385 points. In 1,357 games with the Penguins, Montreal, Philadelphia and Carolina, he has scored 510 goals and recorded 1,341 points.
The Penguins would be responsible for Recchi's salary if he does not land with another club. After finishing third on the team in scoring with 68 points in 82 games last season, Recchi re-signed with the Penguins during the summer for one year at a base salary of $1.75 million.
"He wanted to retire as a Pittsburgh Penguin," Shero said. "He did a great job for us last year. He did a good job with the young players. That played a huge part in bringing him back.
"The right intent was there."
Several clubs, most notably Columbus, had assigned scouts to Penguins' games over the past few weeks, presumably to see Recchi. However, fewer scouts were attending recent games when it became apparent Recchi was not going to play.
Shero said did not discuss a buyout with Recchi, but "would have that conversation" if Recchi is not claimed.
Shero said he wants to see Recchi find another NHL home.
That was not the case for former Penguins' left wing John LeClair, a close friend of Recchi that did not appear in another NHL contest after refusing a minor-league assignment by the Penguins last season.
LeClair was placed on waivers on Nov. 30, 2006. He cleared the next day, went through re-entry waivers and then refused assignment to the Penguins' AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
"I hope this is different," Shero said. "I hope Mark continues to play in the NHL. He is proud, competitive, and wants to play."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins confident Pouliot will be healthy, ready for camp
- Penguins GM insists new coach Johnston was no afterthought
- Penguins coach says team needs to ‘lessen the load’ on Crosby
- Penguins goalie Fleury likely to enter season without new contract
- Rossi: Time with Penguins taught Bylsma importance of stability
- Penguins alumni rally to help Mitch Wilson, who is fighting ALS