Mark Recchi endured two lockouts during his lengthy NHL career. He’s happy to be sitting this one out.
“As far as the lockout goes and everything, I’m glad I’m not involved, not playing,” Recchi told The Boston Globe, reportedly noting that he’s coaching his son’s hockey team and playing family chauffeur.
But while the three-time Stanley Cup champion is on the outside looking in this time around, he does have some advice for the players still kicking around the league in its time of uncertainty.
“My advice is that the longer it goes, the worse [the offer] is going to get [for the players],” Recchi told the newspaper. “Hey, I’m an owner, too, so I see both sides. We lose money on our team, and obviously that’s not the same, the money’s not nearly as significant as in the NHL, but the business dynamics are similar. We’ve lost money every year we’ve owned it.”
Recchi is currently part owner of the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers junior squad, which as he mentioned isn’t quite as substantial as owning a major NHL franchise. However, it does add to the interesting viewpoint the 45-year-old has on the NHL’s situation.
Recchi, who retired following the Boston Bruins’ 2011 Stanley Cup run, understands the current deal being offered to the players might not be ideal, but he has doubts that waiting things out is the best solution.
“The longer they’re out, the revenues are going to go down and down,” Recchi told The Boston Globe. “Corporate sponsors aren’t going to be lining up . . . so there goes that money. The schedule isn’t going to be 82 games. . . . That’s more money lost. So, how are you going to get a better deal? Personally, I think the best time is now.”
The British Columbia native reportedly explained that he thinks there’s a deal to be made, and he feels the players should sign a 10-year deal so that the same situation doesn’t come about again five or six years from now.
As for public perception? Recchi understands signing a deal at this point will likely mean the players are coming off as the losers, but that shouldn’t matter.
“But look what happened, the players always get their money,” Recchi told The Boston Globe. “They’re always going to get paid, no matter what. Look at that last deal. We ended up with the cap and everyone thought it was a bad deal. But it ended up great, right? No matter what the system is, or has been, the players get their money.
"No matter what the contract, the owners always find a way to pay them more. That’s why I say, get a deal and get back in there . . . the money’s always there.”
If the players don’t sign a deal, however, the money won’t be there, which is why Recchi thinks the players need to take a more business-minded approach.
“They have to think, what is best?” Recchi told the newspaper. “Are they better to get 90 percent of what they’re due, or are they better to get zero?”