Mark Recchi will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in November 2017, his fourth year of eligibility. He won a Stanley Cup with three different teams, and his 1,533 points are ranked 12th all-time. But his most explosive season came in 1992-93 with the Philadelphia Flyers, his first full season in the orange and black.
That season may be best remembered as the year Eric Lindros made his debut, but Recchi also set a new franchise record for points in a season with 123 (53 goals and 70 assists) in 84 games. The record-breaking 120th point was the primary assist on the lone goal in a 1-0 victory over the New York Rangers on April 12. Earlier in the night, the Flyers had awarded him his first of three Bobby Clarke Trophies as team MVP.
It may be hard to believe for younger fans, but Recchi was only ranked tenth in scoring that year, and 20 other players scored at least 100 points. Since then, only four players have scored at least 123 points in one season. The closest any Flyer has come to the record was when Lindros scored 115 points in the 1995-96 season. Looking at the current roster, it’s almost certain that by the end of the 2017-18 season, Recchi’s record will stand, 25 years later.
— Hockey Hall of Fame (@HockeyHallFame) September 26, 2017
Clarke’s Record Falls
Heading into the 1992-93 season, Bobby Clarke’s single-season franchise record of 119 points had stood since 1975-76, but the Flyers had been sputtering since their 17-year playoff streak came to an end after the 1989-90 season.
Looking to return to playoff contention, the Flyers made a package deal in February of 1992 that sent Rick Tocchet and Kjell Samuelsson to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Mark Recchi, defenseman Brian Benning, and a first-round pick.
Recchi, who scored 113 points in 1990-91 en route to a Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh didn’t miss a beat with his new team. In the 22 games he played for the Flyers that year, he scored 27 points for a season total of 97.
During the following offseason, Lindros officially joined the Flyers and he was soon centering a line with Recchi and Brent Fedyk on his wings. The three gelled instantly and became known as the Crazy Eights line. In one early-season game, the trio combined for 13 points, with six from Recchi (2G, 4A). Three days later, he scored a goal and four assists in a 7-2 victory. By the end of the year, Recchi had 32 multi-point games. It wasn’t enough to secure a playoff spot but the Flyers finished just four points out.
Trading Recchi Turns Things Around
The next year Recchi scored 107 points in what turned out to be his last 100-point season. Overall, inconsistent play led the Flyers to finish four points out of a playoff spot once again.
During the 1994-95 season, the Flyers cashed in on Recchi’s short but prolific stint with the team by trading him to the Montreal Canadiens for Eric Desjardins and John LeClair, who became part of the Legion of Doom line with Lindros and Mikael Renberg.
The move helped the Flyers end their five-year playoff drought and both new-comers were integral to the Flyers’ success during the mid-90s and early 2000s—as was Recchi when he returned via trade in 1999 and again led the team in scoring the following season with 91 points.
Recchi’s career was prolific, consistent, and long. In fact, it’s his longevity that may have kept him out of the Hall of Fame since he first became eligible. But now that he’s finally in, his 123-point season with the Flyers will be memorialized for all future fans, no matter how much longer his record stands.