Could the Montreal Canadiens and Martin St. Louis call on former Montreal Canadiens winger and hall of famer Mark Recchi to help jumpstart their struggling powerplay?
Of course, St. Louis hasn’t officially shed the interim tag off his coaching title just yet, but both he and general manager Kent Hughes have indicated that will happen before the 2022 NHL Draft in Montreal July 7-8 and the start of free agency on July 13. The Montreal Canadiens were ranked 31st on the powerplay this past season, scoring at a lowly 13.7 percent clip. So if Recchi hasn’t been been hired by the time St. Louis and Hughes put ink to paper on a new coaching contract, could they ring St. Louis’ former Tampa Bay Lightning teammate to come on board the coaching staff to help a powerplay that struggled mightily in the 2021-22 season?
“He’s on the radar for them [Canadiens] and a few teams already,” one NHL source told Montreal Hockey Now.
That same source indicated that two more of Recchi’s former teams that he played for, the Philadelphia Flyers and the Boston Bruins, as well as the Dallas Stars, whom Mark Recchi worked for in a player development role, will likely be ringing the three-time Stanley Cup Champion, if they haven’t already.
It should be noted that current Montreal Canadiens assistant coach Alex Burrows was running the powerplay this past season, and to this point, there has been no indication that St. Louis and the Canadiens intend to part ways with him.
After spending three seasons running the powerplay for the Pittsburgh Penguins and the last two seasons doing the same for the New Jersey Devils, Recchi is a coaching free agent again. Just as the case was when teams looking for powerplay help on the NHL trade market would give the teams Recchi was playing for a call, they’re giving one of the best powerplay men (200g, 369a), in NHL history calls now to help cure their issues on the man advantage.
Recchi, along with a 1995 3rd round pick (#74-Martin Hohenberger), was acquired by the Montreal Canadiens from the Philadelphia Flyers on Feb. 9, 1995 in exchange for John LeClair, Gilbert Dionne and Eric Desjardins. He was then traded back to the Flyers on March 10, 1999 in exchange for Dainius Zubrus, 2 2000 6th round pick (#172-Scott Selig)
and a Flyers 1999 or 2000 2nd round pick or Islanders 2000 2nd round pick (Canadiens option) that turned out to be Matt Carkner at 58th overall in 1999.