Caps sign AHL penalty minutes leader, Dale Hunter seems pleased

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The Washington Capitals have signed noted tough guy Joel Rechlicz to a one-year deal and recalled him from AHL Hershey — a pleasant development for head coach Dale Hunter, who celebrated by breaking the record for most uses of the word tough/toughness:

“A lot of teams have heavyweights and he’s going to add toughness to our team,” Hunter said. “He’s a tough character and he’s just a tough guy you can have on the road.

“It’s a game-time decision if he plays, but he gives the team some more toughness.”

Rechlicz will join the Caps for their two-game road trip to Florida, where they’ll play the Lightning on Tuesday and the Panthers on Wednesday.

Wondering what to expect from the man they call “Wrecker”? Well…

Rechlicz is 6-foot-4, 230 lbs. He led the AHL with 184 penalty minutes this year, fighting 12 times in 27 games. Over the last three seasons he’s fought 41 times between the NHL (he had a couple cups of coffee with the Islanders) and AHL, with his most famous battle coming in the American League against Bridgeport’s Brett Gallant:

It’s no surprise that Hunter spoke glowingly about adding the AHL’s PIM leader to his lineup. Hunter is, after all, the Caps’ all-time leader in penalty minutes (2003) and the NHL’s second-most penalized player all time.