Recchi joins Devils as assistant coach
Mark Recchi offers a lot of perspective for the slumping New Jersey Devils when the team gets back into action in the 2020-21 season. The Hockey Hall of Famer worked as an assistant to Mike Sullivan with the Pittsburgh Penguins and proved himself to be a bright mind.
Recchi joins Lindy Ruff, who was hired as the team’s coach back in July. The Hall of Famer was called by Ruff as soon as he left the Penguins and was offered a new job. The future seems bright for the Devils following a tough finish in the previous season.
‘I said, “Yeah, absolutely”’, Recchi said of his decision to become a part of a struggling team. ‘Then I started looking at the Devils roster, and it just really excited me. I'm looking at helping Lindy, but I'm also looking at learning from Lindy as well. You never stop learning in this game, and I'm going to continue to learn and continue to work my tail off to grow as a coach’.
The Devils finished the season at the 14th spot in the Eastern Conference. They tallied a 28-29-12 record with .493 points percentage. In eight seasons since advancing to the 2012 Stanley Cup Final, where they lost in six games to the Los Angeles Kings, New Jersey has only reached the playoffs once.
They lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in five games in the 2018 Eastern Conference first round. The team has a lot of playoff woes, and there is yet to be a successful season for them. The assistant coach believes that they need to communicate better if they want a fluid offence this time.
‘I think communicating now is more important than ever. These kids want to understand’, said Recchi. ‘They want to talk to you about it, they want to understand how to get through it, and I think that's the important thing that I'm going to be able to bring, and I hope I can. I really want to help these young players and the New Jersey Devils to build something special here’.
Centres Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier are the main pieces for the second-youngest team in the NHL. The team is one of the finest collections of young talents in the game, but they are yet to click in terms of offence and pace.
Recchi thinks that he could help a lot in their offence. After all, he did play well with the likes of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. He even worked on the power play for the Penguins, so that counts as a fine experience in the game for him.
The puck has to move, and every team has a different structure. Recchi thinks they can have a real good structure in New Jersey. Having players such as Jack Hughes who can be a quarterback on one of the units means that the Devils can actually turn their struggles around.
Words: Paul Daniel Flores