Washington placed Joel Rechlicz on waivers, with the intention of reassigning him to the AHL’s Hershey Bears. That’s what will happen unless another NHL team claims the tough forward by Saturday at noon.

Rechlicz’s Bears equipment bag was packed and in front of his stall in the dressing room at KCI.

He requires waivers to be assigned to Hershey because this is his fourth season after signing an entry-level deal with the Islanders in 2008. That Rechlilcz signed an NHL contract on Jan. 30, also means he must pass through waivers before he can be loaned to the AHL.

The Capitals opted to place Reclicz on waivers “more than anything else to give us some more room if somebody got hurt or something,” Coach Dale Hunter said. “He was vocal, he took the body. On the road there wasn’t no physicality going on or nothing; he took care of that, so he was a force out there.”

Despite Hunter's comments, Rechlicz’s impact is tough to gauge. He played a total of 4 minutes and 26 seconds in two games this week and did not engage in a fight.

Many thought Rechlicz’s signing and recall was related to Saturday’s game in Montreal. On Jan. 3, the Canadiens’ Rene Bourque elbowed Nicklas Backstrom, and the Capitals center has not played since. Rechlicz said Thursday he hoped to be in the game against the Canadiens, but it turns out that won’t be the case.

“No, no, no,” Hunter said when asked if Rechlicz’s call up was related to Bourque at all. “It was just because we were on the road; you know, we wanted to get stronger on the road.”