Devils’ Assistant Coach Recchi to Join Philly Sports Hall of Fame

Another person connected to the Devils will be entering a hall of fame.

Amanda Stein is reporting that Devils’ assistant coach Mark Recchi will be a member of the 2021 class of the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame.

Recchi, who Stein mentions is in the Hockey Hall of Fame, played for the Flyers from 1991-92 to halfway through 1994-95 and again from 1998 to 2004. He played 602 games (of his 1,652 career NHL games) for the Flyers and notched 232 goals and 395 assists for 627 total points in Philly. That was good, as Stein noted, for an over-a-point-per-game pace (1.04).

He is still the Flyers’ single season scoring leader, collecting 53 goals and 70 assists for 123 points in 1992-93.

Overall, he had 1,533 points over 1,652 games in the NHL playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins, Montreal Canadiens, Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes, Atlanta Thrashers and Tampa Bay Lightning in addition to his two stints with the Flyers.

He won Stanley Cups with the Penguins (twice: in 1991 and 2008) and the Bruins (2011).

He also won two Cups with the Penguins while working the hockey ops (2016 and 2017). In Pittsburgh, he was an assistant coach and Director of Player Development. He joined the Devils in 2020 as an assistant coach.

Congratulations to Mark Recchi on this wonderful achievement.

In some other, admittedly sadder news, former Devils’ defenseman Tom Kurvers passed away today at the age of 58 of cancer. He had been serving as the assistant general manager of the Minnesota Wild at the time of his death.

Kurvers was born in Minnesota and attended the University of Minnesota-Duluth where he won the Hobey Baker Award as the top NCAA men’s player in 1984.

He was drafted 145th overall in 1981 by the Montreal Canadiens and was in Montreal when the Habs won the Stanley Cup in 1986.

He was eventually traded to the Buffalo Sabres and, prior to the 1987-88 season, was dealt to the Devils. The Devils gave up a third-round pick in the 1987 Entry Draft (Andrew MacVicar).

In the 1988 playoffs during the Devils Cinderella run to the Wales Conference Finals, Kurvers notched six goals and nine assists for 15 total points.

He would play 131 games with the Devils – from 1987-88 to one game in 1989-90 – and collect 21 goals and 79 assists for an even 100 points.

On October 16, 1989, the Devils dealt him to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Toronto’s first-round pick in the 1991 Entry Draft. That pick would turn into Scott Niedermayer.

He played from 1984 until 1995 for the Canadiens, Sabres, Devils, Leafs, Islanders, Canucks and Mighty Ducks of Anaheim – the team he retired from.

Following his playing career, he worked in broadcasting and scouting for the Phoenix Coyotes and the front office of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Wild. He was inducted into the University of Minnesota-Duluth Hall of Fame in 1991.

Condolences to the family and friends of Tom Kurvers.

Devils Coaching Staff Continues to Take Shape

Catherine Bogart reported yesterday on the “Inside the Devils Blog” that Devils General Manager Tom Fitzgerald “spoke to the media ahead of the NHL Draft” and addressed the future of Lindy Ruff’s staff.

To begin, former Devils Interim Head Coach, Alain Nasreddine will be returning as an assistant coach next season.

Fitzgerald told Bogart: “He’s very excited about [returning] as are we. When you can keep a young talent like Alain, who did a good job with our group, tough situation, but he handled it well, learned a lot. [He] grew as a coach, young head coach. I think he’s very excited about the opportunity to work with Lindy Ruff. We’re excited about Alain coming back. He takes a lot of pride in growing our young [defense], he takes a lot of pride in working with the penalty kill, and we’re excited to have him.”

The coaching staff, according to Bogart, currently stands at Ruff, Nasreddine and Mark Recchi. She mentioned that the team is looking for a goaltending coach, leading us to believe that Rollie Melanson will not be returning. Likewise, they are looking for a third “eye in the sky” coach. This, added to Recchi’s hiring, would seem to indicate that the Devils have cut ties with Rick Kowalsky as well.

Bogart quoted Fitzgerald as saying: “We’re going through a goaltending coach search. We have to add a third coach, a ‘eye in the sky’ kind of guy. I think Lindy’s narrowed it down. I think he’s going to be comfortable with a person, I just like to sit down and talk with him and then go from there. There’s no rush especially with the draft and free agency coming up. But I don’t think the decision will take much longer.”

The “eye in the sky” coach would be replacing former assistant coach Mike Grier. Fitzgerald confirmed that Grier is not returning for next season.

Fitzgerald said to Bogart: “He was offered to come back, we would have loved to have him come back. He plans on staying home…he’s got young kids, he wants to be around and be a dad. If something comes up that gives him the opportunity to grow more with more responsibilities than we could have offered him then he’ll consider that. But he was offered a spot to come back.”

So, as it stands, the Devils’ coaching staff will consist of a familiar face along with a lot of overhaul. Once the team hires its goaltending coach and third assistant, we will have word for you here.