What could the popular veteran have possibly done to cause such a reaction heading into the most important contest of the season? He just let it be known going into the playoffs that he would retire if the Bruins won the Stanley Cup.
And while his teammates will certainly miss having the 22-year NHL vet around, they'd like nothing better than to send him off to a happy retirement with a third championship ring on his fingers.
"We've talked about it," Bruins forward Shawn Thornton said of Wednesday's Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final being possibly his last game playing with Recchi. "I had a glass of wine with him [Tuesday], probably the last glass the night before a game with him ever. Everyone loves Rex and appreciates everything he's done for us here. I'm a big supporter of his, so I'm hoping we can do it for him."
Thornton is the only Bruin besides Recch to have already won a Cup, and the chance to finally raise the most cherished trophy in sports is already more than enough motivation for Wednesday's showdown with the Canucks. Still, helping Recchi put a fitting cap to his Hall of Fame career does add just a little something extra.
"Well, I guess that'll be his choice once it's all said and done," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "And I know he's expressed the fact that if we win the Stanley Cup, he's done. Not because I want him to retire, but I'd like to see him win another Stanley Cup. He's been great for us. We can't say enough. We've talked about him all year and maybe his speed isn't where it might have been at some point, but his experience has certainly made up for that. He's contributed in a lot of different ways and scored some big goals and obviously made some big plays at opportune times. He's a guy that shows up every game, no matter what the situation is."
The Bruins just don't want him showing up for any more games after Wednesday.