When you get near the locker room of the Penguins, one crosses a wall with giant photos of the players now retired, and who have marked the history of the franchise. Of course, there is Mario Lemieux, and, since this year, Jaromir Jagr, who is no longer playing in the NHL.
Another former player has been added and it is Mark Recchi, who has been inducted into the hall of fame last November. On the 1652 matches that he has played in the NHL, only 389 have been with the Penguins. But it has not been forgotten in Pittsburgh, having won the Stanley cup in 1991.
“It’s amazing to see this photo and the one placed in the cloakroom of the Canadian since I was elected to the hall of fame, says Mark Recchi near the locker room of the Penguins. It is very special. I never thought that this kind of thing would happen to me when I started my career. “
The love of the sport
Mark Recchi has made his return in 2014 with the Penguins. First as responsible for the development of players and now as an assistant coach, replacing Rick Tocchet, who is now leading the Coyotes. Recchi is one of the major responsible for the development of players like Jake Guentzel, Bryan Rust and Conor Sheary, who contribute greatly to the success of the team.
This is in large part why he is now behind the bench of the Penguins and he didn’t regret his decision to get involved on a daily basis in the team.
“I have a lot of fun, says Mark Recchi. I feel like I’m really part of this group and I am so much surrounded with Mike Sullivan, Jacques Martin and Sergei Gonchar. We have a very good relationship, and I am learning every day. “
In learning mode
Mark Recchi doesn’t know where his new career will lead him.
Will it be head coach or general manager of a team one day? He still has no answers to this question. But today, he learned a lot watching Mike Sullivan to lead a team that is very successful.
“Sully is so good. He is a master in the management of its staff. Manage the players, this is not of any rest, I know something, I have not always been easy, ” he said, laughing. It is good to be working with such a great head coach because he asks us to do our work, and it does not mean to arrive at 6 o’clock in the morning and leave at 17 hours, as is the case often. And I don’t have to hit me head into a wall to not know what to do. “
In the locker room of the Penguins, the presence of Mark Recchi has a significant impact because the attackers have an ally in mark.
“He knows what he is talking about, the synopsis of his career says it all, points out Sidney Crosby. And it is not so long ago that he retired (2011). Therefore, it understands very well every detail. I played with him rookie, and it is the same person. We are lucky here to have it and it is the same thing for Sergei Gonchar and Bill Guerin, who were also my teammates. The dynamic is incredible because they are now leaders. When they give you advice, it is always welcome. They know what they are talking about. “
For Mark Recchi, it is important to make sure to guide players. “I’ve always liked to do, even when I was playing and it did the same thing with me when I came in the league. It is Mario Lemieux who took care of me, just as Joe Mullen and Bryan Trottier. They treated me as if I was gold. I want the youth players that arrive in this organization are treated the same way I was. It must make them feel important to the success of the team as soon as they come in this locker room. This is also what I try to bring to this training. “
AN EXAMPLE OF LEADERSHIP
With a player the caliber of Sidney Crosby, there is no problem in the locker room of the Penguins. Everyone knows his role. But it is also important to emphasize the leadership of the other players who have agreed to sacrifice their personal successes for the good of the team. Here I think Kristopher Letang, who has always been the quarterback on the blue line of the Penguins in numerical advantage. But now, it is Justin Schultz who occupies the role, in order to limit the ice time for Letang. We don’t want that he plays thirty minutes a game and that is why the quebec defender directs the second unit of the numerical advantage. He never criticized the decision of his coach and, if he had been selfish, he would have been able to sulk in his corner. This is not what he has done.
Speaking of Kristopher Letang, he has been hit solidly by Claude Giroux in the second period Friday. The NHL decided not to suspend the Flyers ‘ captain bobby clarke, who had to be pushed by Sidney Crosby for a few moments before. The department of player safety has concluded that the gesture of Claude Giroux was involuntary even if, at the Penguins, they had the impression that Giroux was projected on Letang. In the Flyers, it was indicated that Giroux rather tried to protect themselves. We are talking about two players who really respect and who have never had any animosity toward one another.
CROSBY HAS NOT FORGOTTEN THERRIEN
If you include the playoffs and the regular season, Sidney Crosby has a card of +186 in his career, this is very impressive. The captain of the Penguins gives a lot of credit to Michel Therrien, who gave all the freedom to the players in the offensive zone, but was keen to see his players be effective defensively. “Michel has always said that if we played well defensively, we’re going to be successful offensively,” says Sidney Crosby. His influence is still a part of us currently, especially for Evgeni Malkin and me, who had much to learn upon our arrival in the NHL. “In comparison, Patrice Bergeron has one more data 193 if you include the regular season and the playoffs, since the beginning of his career.