As the American Hockey League’s leader in penalty minutes this season (184) and with 41 fights (AHL and NHL) in the past three regular seasons, according to, Joel Rechlicz doesn’t need much of an introduction. Washington signed him to a one-year deal and recalled him for a two-game road trip to Florida to add some snarl to the lineup.

“A lot of teams have heavyweights and he’s going to add toughness to our team. He’s a tough character and he’s just a tough guy you can have on the road,” said Coach Dale Hunter, who was then asked if he thought the Capitals lacked toughness.

“Not necessarily,” Hunter replied. “He’s been playing well down there, we just think that we’re going on the road — it’s a game time decision if he plays but he gives the team some more toughness.”

Rechlicz was surprised when he found out after Hershey’s game in Norfolk on Saturday that he was being recalled but said he is happy to have the chance to play in the NHL again. The 24-year-old played 23 games for the New York Islanders between the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons.

“It’s very exciting for me,” Rechlicz said. “I’m here to make the most of my opportunity, provide energy on the ice and be here for my teammates.”

An interesting note about Rechlicz is that he’s one of a very few number of professional hockey players who still uses a wooden stick. It’s such a rare sight that a few Capitals, including defenseman John Carlson, asked to examine it during practice.

“Just been using them since I was 20 years old. I love using them,” Rechlicz said. “Most of the guys pick it up they think it’s a dumbbell or something; it’s pretty heavy. You don’t see too many of them. I enjoy using wood sticks, great feel for the puck.”

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