Caps Sign and Recall Tough Guy Joel Rechlicz and Recall Cody Eakin from Chocolatetown

(Photo courtesy of JustSports Photography)

Bored as hell from the lack of interesting NHL because of All-Star Weekend? Here’s a bit of news that you didn’t expect to wake up to today:

Announced today by Caps GM George McPhee, the Caps have signed the Hershey Bears’ forward Joel Rechlicz to an entry level contract. In addition, he and Cody Eakin were recalled today. Rechlicz will wear No. 54 for the Caps.

So who is this Joel guy with the really hard to pronounce last name? To put things simple, he’s a total badass who you can probably expect to make at least one trip to the sin bin in almost every game, not because he takes bad penalties like Alex Semin, but because he’s definitely not afraid to drop the gloves.

Currently, Rechlicz, 24, leads the AHL in penalty minutes with a total of 184 of them in just 27 games. Oh yeah, he also has a goal and assist too, but don’t expect those two numbers to increase by very many. Last season with the Bears, he appeared in 28 games, scored a goal, and spent 132 minutes in the penalty box.

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Despite spending so much time in the sin bin, this 6’4”, 220-pound fighter from Wisconsin has managed to finish all off all of those penalties and saw some NHL action too. During the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 seasons, Rechlicz got his first look at the NHL with the New York Islanders. Playing just 23 games, he recorded one assist and 95 penalty minutes.

So will this guy see longterm time in DC or is he just here for a game, possibly two? It’s tough to say. I’d hope just a few games, but Dale Hunter might be fond of his playing style.

Though, my best guess is that Rechlicz is here to light a fire under Matt Hendricks’s ass. If you know much about Hendricks, you know that he plays with a “do anything to survive” mentality. Or at least he did in the past. Hendrick’s knew that if he wasn’t good enough, someone in the AHL was eager to knock him out of his NHL roster spot. As a result, Hendricks would step up and drop the gloves, do the dirty work, and skate every shift like it was his last. Hendricks used this game plan last season and it rewarded him with a 2-year deal in the NHL. Now though, people have started to say that Hendricks has lost that attitude and isn’t playing as intensely as he once did. If this is so, what better way to remind Hendricks that his spot is not 100% secure than by calling up someone even more fearless than he. Though, this is all just speculation.

Whether or not you think he can bring something positive to the Caps or you just think he’s a goon who belongs on the set of Slap Shot, he surely has made things interesting in Washington, even if just for a day or two.

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So ya wanna see some of his fights, eh? Here ya go:

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Posted on January 30, 2012, in Caps News and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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