Lindy Ruff’s Devils coaching staff is beginning to take shape as today the team announced that Mark Recchi will serve as an assistant coach on Ruff’s staff.
The announcement was made by Executive Vice President/General Manager Tom Fitzgerald via a press release on the Devils’ official app.
In the press release, Fitzgerald was quoted as saying: “We are extremely excited to add Mark to our coaching staff, where his experience as a player, coach, and in development will be invaluable. His work with the power play and managing personnel in Pittsburgh are skills that will benefit our group moving forward. Mark’s leadership, communication abilities, patience, and presence will be integral for the growth of our young core.”
Recchi served the last three seasons as an assistant coach with the Penguins. Pittsburgh let most of their coaching staff go following their 2020 Qualifying Round loss to the Montreal Canadiens.
In Pittsburgh, “he was responsible for the power play.” In his three seasons there, the Pens had a 131-78-24 record and made the playoffs all seasons (they made the Qualifying Round in this year’s amended playoff format, as previously mentioned). The press release mentions that the Pens were “top-five in the League on the power play in two of his three seasons, including leading the League in 2017-18 with a 26.2% success rate. Their three-year mark of 23.8% ranked third over that span.”
Recchi, 52-years-old, had a pedigree with the Penguins. He won a Stanley Cup there as a player in 1991 and won two more in 2016 and 2017 as a Development Coach with the club. He was a Development Coach from 2014-15 until being promoted to the bench in 2017-18. During his time as a Developmental Coach, he worked with Pittsburgh’s prospects in the professional minor leagues as well as juniors and college. He got his first post-playing career job in the NHL with the Dallas Stars as a Senior Advisor in 2013-14.
In addition to the Cup won in Pittsburgh as a player, Recchi also won Cups with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006 and the Boston Bruins in 2011.
As a player, he played 22-years in the NHL, participating in 1,652 games which is sixth all-time on the games played list. He also ranks 21st in goals scored (577), fifth in assists with 956, and 12th in total points (1,533). He also made seven All-Star Game appearances, including being named the game’s MVP in 1997.
He played in 189 Stanley Cup Playoff games, scoring 61 goals and 86 assists for 147 points. He played for the Penguins, Flyers, Canadiens, Bruins, Lightning, Atlanta Thrashers and Hurricanes over his 22-year career and was ultimately elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2017.
Recchi also had quite an impressive international career, as the Kamloops, British Columbia native represented Canada in the 1988 World Junior Championship and the 1997 World Championship, both of which he won gold at. He also played for Canada at the 1998 Winter Olympics.
He will be responsible for the Devils’ power play next season, replacing Rick Kowalsky in that role.