When the Lightning's season turned south and Mark Recchi's numbers continued to rise, the veteran winger became a target.
With a pair of Stanley Cup titles on his impressive resume, including with Carolina in 2006 as a deadline acquisition, Recchi figured to be a valuable addition to a contending team looking to add a veteran presence.
Recchi has been just that for the Eastern Conference-leading Boston Bruins, who acquired Recchi from Tampa Bay along with a 2010 second-round pick in exchange for defenseman Matt Lashoff and winger Martins Karsums on March 4.
For Recchi, the transition has been easy.
"It's been good," Recchi said of fitting in with Boston. "It obviously takes some time, but the guys made me feel comfortable right away. I've been on the same line basically since game one, which helps and makes it kind of fluid that way."
Recchi comes into tonight's game riding a five-game scoring streak with five goals and seven points during that stretch. In 11 games with the Bruins, the 41-year-old has seven goals and nine points.
On Sunday against Philadelphia, he reached the 20-goal plateau for the 16th time in 20 seasons, a mark he didn't anticipate reaching.
"I expected to play well this season, but you never know how things are going to go or what would happen, so it's kind of nice to reach that," Recchi said."
But Recchi knows that his value to the Bruins won't be judge by how he finishes the regular season. The true measure of Recchi's worth will come in two weeks when the postseason begins and the Bruins try to end a more than 30-year Stanley Cup drought.
"I'm just a small piece of the puzzle, so if there are expectations that one person is going to come in and carry the team, that's pretty crazy," he said. "It takes everybody in the locker room to win games in the playoffs. You obviously have to go out and do your job, but there is no pressure on me.
"I think having been there a couple of times I can bring some insight as to what it's going to take and stuff like that. But the pressure is on the whole team to go out there and play."
As the regular season winds down, Recchi is starting to get revved up for another run at a title.
"I feel really energized and feel great," he said. "We have some games coming up here at the end but it's good to be getting ready for the playoffs."