Saturday, March 31, 2012

Recchi, Rolston, Repeat?

Ok I have a crazy thought below, but first I think we learned 3 important lessons today:
  1. David Krejci's streakiness is streaky but clutch.
  2. Don't break up Marchand - Bergeron - Seguin. Ever.
  3. Chris Kelly is the key to winning all the things. 
But here's my main reason for posting. I have had an elaborate thought to express. It's quite long, so here are some words to sum it up and draw you in: Ray Bourque. Mark Recchi. Brian Rolston. Stanley Cup. More words like this!

Last year's Bruins Cup run was ripe with signs of fate (last 2 teams to win before them had also started season in Europe, won Winter Classic season prior; the Bruins had a road win streak that was their best since the year they won the Cup in 1972; some other stuff I can't remember off the top of my head). As a hockey fan and a crazy person in general, I find a lot of comfort in so-called fate. With every piece of useless information hinting that it was the Bruins year to win, it gave me more hope. This year, there doesn't seem to be anything like that. I pray to the hockey Gods for a Bruins repeat, and I like to think the hockey Gods have a big part in those coincidences that some call fate. I haven't thought of anything substantial, but the following stream of consciousness made me smile a little bit.

Last season we won the Cup with Old Man Rex, who had also won the Stanley Cup in his 2nd (or was it 3rd?) season with the Pittsburgh Penguins (the team that drafted him) in 1991. He left Pittsburgh for 10 years (er, got traded), playing for the Flyers and then Canadiens and then Flyers again until he returned to the Penguins in 2004 as a Free Agent (then got traded to Carolina, won a Cup, and came to Pittsburgh AGAIN in 2007). After signing there in 2007 however, they tried to send him to the AHL and placed him on waivers (he got claimed by Atlanta though, who are awesome at claiming people off of waivers [see: Rich Peverley]). Anyway, at some point he got sent to Tampa and then from Tampa, he was traded to Boston at the trade deadline and the rest is history.

They left out the PhD after Recchi's name. Assholes.
Does a Cup in an abbreviated season really count?
This season, Brian Rolston is the Bruins resident Old Man (even though his glorious, luscious locks lead us to believe otherwise). Like Recchi, Rolston won the Stanley Cup early in his career - in this case, in his very first season in the NHL, which was with the New Jersey Devils (the team that drafted him) in the 1995 half-season (abbreviated thanks to a strike/lockout). After a few more years with the Devils, he got dealt to Colorado, then to Boston within a few months. After the lockout, he signed with the Wild, had career years, and then a few years later, returned to the Devils by signing as a free agent in 2008. The Devils gave up on him though, and placed him on waivers. He then got traded to the Islanders, who also placed him on waivers. He was then dealt to Boston at the deadline.

Now, it is ridiculous to compare Rolston to Recchi as players. But the general similarities are vague enough for me to manipulate them into potentially inspiring ideas. Very long and prolific careers that began with the team that drafted them, winning the Cup with said team, leaving and having a long career elsewhere, and returning to the original team via free agency only to be waived, and ending up in Boston at the deadline. Although the Bruins didn't win the Cup the year Recchi joined, he had an immediate impact, much like Rolston has had thus far since joining the Bruins. He hasn't won since 1995 in his 1st year, and I think he could surprise us in the playoffs if he is hungry enough for the Cup alongside a capable team. I already predicted he would be awesome the moment he was traded back to Boston. 

He was meant to be a Bruin. Now imagine me saying that in the voice of Kurt Russel as Herb Brooks in Miracle, telling the Team USA players before the big game "boys, you were born to be hockey players". Do you believe?

No? Ok. Here is some more randomness/fate. Remember that when Rolston was traded from Colorado to Boston (the first time), it was in the Ray Bourque trade that sent Bourque to the Avalanche so he could win a Cup, which he did. Dave Andreychuk was also traded to the Avs with Bourque, and he later led the Lightning (speaking of which...Rolston's rights were traded from the Wild to the Tampa Bay Lightning [but ultimately he was able to become a free agent, and signed with New Jersey]; the Lightning were also quite useless for Mark Recchi except as a catalyst to send him to Boston. So, thanks Bolts?) to a Cup in 2004 in his final season before retirement. But guys...Ray Bourque. Mark Recchi. Brian Rolston. Stanley Cup. Words! Are you excited? 

Someone get Rolston a nice glass of wine. Or a medical degree.

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