PHILADELPHIA – It’s official. Mark Recchi was one Hall of a player.
In pre-game induction ceremonies on Saturday afternoon, Recchi became the 28th member of the Flyers Hall of Fame.
His family and a number of former teammates and team officials were on hand for the big event.
Recchi, a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, was one of the most talented players in Flyers history. He still holds the single-season record for points (123, during the 1992-93 season) and contributed an incredible 39 game-winning goals during his two stints in Philadelphia.
Nearly all the big names in Flyers history – Clarke, Lindros, Howe, LeClair, etc. – were in attendance.
Recchi, now an assistant coach with the Columbus Blue Jackets, was all smiles as he stepped to the microphone at the Wells Fargo Center to deliver his acceptance speech.
“To be inducted, I never could have imagined this,” Recchi said before the Flyers-Bruins game. “What an incredible honor this is, to join them. It’s a humbling experience.”
Recchi thanked the Flyers for all they did for him over his career in Philadelphia. He also expressed his appreciation to the Flyers’ fans for their loyalty and support.
He mentioned that although the Flyers didn’t win the Stanley Cup in Philadelphia, they did reach the conference finals twice (2000, 2004) and gave an honest effort.
Recchi gave perhaps his most heartfelt thanks to the late Ed Snider, the former owner of the team who passed away in 2016.
In Recchi’s opinion, it was Snider who created the original family atmosphere around the team.
“We were all fortunate to have an owner like that, it was family,” Recchi said. “It was everything about family. I know right now he’s looking down. . .I know he’s very proud of what’s going on right now (with the Flyers).
“(Keith) Jonesy, Danny (Briere). . .they’re bringing family back to this organization.”
Recchi won a Stanley Cup with the Bruins in 2011. He also won the Cup with Pittsburgh in 1991 and Carolina in 2006.
Having played for both Philadelphia and Boston, one would think Recchi might have split loyalties. But since he played the most games (602) with the Flyers, it’s clear where his true allegiance lies.
The Flyers current players were on the bench during the ceremony and Recchi directed a comment straight to them.
“I know they’ve got a game to play,” Recchi said. “And it’s a big one today. I’m working for another team (Columbus) but they’ve kicked our (the Blue Jackets’) butt a few times so I hope they do it to Boston today.”
Some say this honor was long overdue. Recchi’s just glad the time is finally here.
“We had some unbelievable years, we didn’t quite get the job done but we got to the semifinals twice,” Recchi said. “But I’ll always remember those teams because we were so tight.
“For the fans, we don’t get to do what we love without your support and coming to the rink every day. Philadelphia fans are above and beyond everybody, they’re passionate. They are fiery. You go through the dog days of January and February and you guys are our sixth player on the ice for us. Keep that going, never change.”