TAMPA, Fla. | Without D.J. King, the Washington Capitals lack a true enforcer. Matt Hendricks and John Erskine aren’t afraid to fight, but neither guy is a heavyweight.
Enter Joel Rechlicz, whom the Caps signed to a one-year deal on Monday. The 24-year-old was on a minor league contract with the Hershey Bears and had 12 fights in 27 games this season. According to CapGeek.com, the deal is worth the minimum of $525,000.
“I’m just happy to be here and I’m here to make the most of my opportunity and provide energy on the ice and behere for my teammates,” Rechlicz said Monday.
Rechlicz has 54 career American Hockey League fights. He has one goal, one assist and 184 penalty minutes this year. He has played in 23 NHL games and recorded 95 penalty minutes, all for the New York Islanders in 2008-09 and 2009-10.
The Caps face the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night. The last time the two teams met, Steve Downie fought Karl Alzner and there were several post-whistle scrums.
“I just didn’t have much of a choice there,” Alzner said Jan. 13. “He had my stick and I couldn’t really get that free. And I’ve had a couple run ins with Downie in the past.”
Rechlicz is 6-foot-4 and 212 pounds. He’s listed as a right wing.
Cody Eakin was also recalled, as he was only sent down to Hershey to get a couple games in.