Sunday, January 24, 2010

Veteran Swap

Portland,ME—Mark Recchi is a patient man. A veteran of 20 NHL seasons, the Recchin' Ball has been traded seven times. After winning the Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh in 1990-91, Recchi brought the same grit and leadership to the rink every day for fifteen years before hoisting silver again. He's also accomplished a thing or ten. Recchi has two Stanley Cups, six All-Star appearances, competed for Canada in the Nagano Olympics, and is the only player to ever score a game-tying goal at Fenway Park.

Recchi, 41, now finds himself immersed in a new challenge playing for CSKA Moscow of the World Hockey League. General manager Nathan Fournier acquired the veteran from Steve Irvine's St. Boniface Saints on January 16th in exchange for John Madden and a 2010 4th round pick.

Madden, 36, has an interesting history as well. He grew up in a Toronto public housing project and never played major junior hockey, the highest level of minor hockey in Canada. He was passed over at the 1993 NHL Entry Draft (and remained undrafted), but went on to set the NCAA record for shorthanded goals with the University of Michigan Wolverines. Brendan Morrison, Madden's teammate at UM and the New Jersey Devil's 2nd round pick in '93, mentioned Madden to GM Lou Lamoriello, who later offered Madden a pro contract. After two stellar years in the American Hockey League, Madden went on to establish himself as a premier NHL checking forward and was even awarded the Frank J. Selke trophy in 2001 as the NHL's best defensive forward.

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