- Joe McDonald, Reporter, ESPNBoston.com
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On Friday, Boston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli confirmed a report that the organization and veteran forward Mark Recchi agreed on a one-year deal worth $1 million base salary plus performance bonuses.
On Monday afternoon, the team made the announcement official.
"My first run, I went two weeks ago and about halfway in I thought about retiring," Recchi said. "But I love playing, so why not play as long as I'm enjoying it?"
Recchi, a 42-year-old veteran of 21 NHL seasons and a two-time Stanley Cup winner, posted 18 goals and 25 assists for 43 points in 80 games for the Bruins in 2009-2010.
"Rex was a terrific player for us and helped our group leadership-wise and he's a Hall of Famer to be and he's going to help some of the young kids," Chiarelli said. "We're excited to have him back."
The dialogue between Recchi, Chiarelli and coach Claude Julien began immediately following the season. Talks went smoothly, according to Recchi, and his decision to return was an easy one.
Recchi was impressed with Chiarelli's vision and plans to make changes, and the veteran forward still has a bitter taste in his mouth over the way the Bruins' season ended in an historical collapse to the Philadelphia Flyers in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
"I think there is some unfinished business," said Recchi. "I've never been so disappointed to end the way we did."
Recchi also believes the Bruins will be better in 2010-2011 and he's also looking forward to the opportunity to play with the newest member of the Bruins -- Tyler Seguin. Boston took the 18-year-old with the No. 2 pick in last week's draft.
"I think it's wonderful. Anytime you can get a kid like that, they're franchise players," Recchi said. "We're very fortunate and up the middle we have three [Patrice Bergeron, Marc Savard, David Krejci) dynamic guys and you throw this kid in the mix, he could possibly play wing, he's going to be an important part. At the same time he doesn't have to be a world beater."
Taylor Hall, this year's No. 1 overall pick, will be relied upon heavily to make a sudden impact at the NHL level for the Edmonton Oilers next season, but Seguin shouldn't feel any pressure to do the same in Boston, according to Recchi.
"He can learn and grow and be part of a good hockey team," he said. "That's very important for the development of a young kid."
Recchi's ability to mentor young players is one of the reasons Chiarelli wants him around.
"The whole group has to help the younger kids and manage their expectations, manage their lifestyles and all that," Chiarelli said. "It's a group effort, but someone like Mark who has done it and has done it successfully will be an asset to our team."
Recchi said he would like to see another veteran brought in to share the leadership role and he would also like to see the team increase its depth chart at the defensive position.
"Peter knows that and if everybody comes to camp in the right frame of mind and wants to get better and learn, we all know how Claude is as a coach, and we're all going to get a fresh start."
Recchi doesn't know yet how much longer he'll be able to play. A seven-time All-Star, Recchi leads all active players with 922 assists and is second with 563 goals. He is ninth in career NHL games played with 1,571, but after another full season could move up as high as fourth.
"At the end of next year I'll sit down, but it's definitely getting closer," he said with a laugh. "It's definitely winding down and whether this is it or not, I'm not sure. I'm getting up there, but I'm having fun and I love it. We'll see what happens this year."
Joe McDonald covers the Bruins for ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter. Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Mark Recchi and the Boston Bruins officially inked a one-year deal