August 19, 2022

CAPS/BEARS: Joel Rechlicz Named Bears’ AHL Man of the Year

Defenseman Joel Rechlicz in Hershey (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

04/02/2012 –

HERSHEY, Pa. – The HERSHEY BEARS are proud to announce that right wing Joel Rechlicz has been named the team’s winner of the IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year award for his outstanding contributions to the HERSHEY community during the 2011-12 season. The announcement was made by BEARS President/GM Doug Yingst.

Known widely as an enforcer on the ice, a protector of teammates and a cheerleader when he isn’t on an active shift, Rechlicz carries an infectious laugh and outgoing demeanor the moment his job is over. Throughout the 2011-12 season, Rechlicz went above and beyond what is expected of players and spent an average of two days per week making visits around HERSHEY and the surrounding central Pennsylvania communities.

After beginning this season visiting schools during the BEARS Care Reading Program, he went on to help distribute stuffed toys that were collected from the team’s annual Teddy Bear Toss Game, played in front of a crowd of 10,238 on December 3rd against the Portland Pirates. As many toys were collected from the ice after the BEARS’ first goal as there were fans in attendance, and Rechlicz helped ensure that some made their way to some of the Harrisburg area’s children in need. Since such toys were not allowed to be given directly to ill children at the Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital, Rechlicz worked with teammates Keith Aucoin, Chris Bourque, Boyd Kane and Graham Mink to purchase gifts and give the children happiness as Christmas approached.

Occasionally working with other teammates, Rechlicz spent several off-days on Monday evenings during the season at HERSHEY Junior BEARS on-ice clinics, encouraging the youngsters that the only fights they should have on the ice is in their work at being the best player they can.

With community visits winding down as the trade deadline approached and with several injuries preventing some players from fulfilling their offers of time, Rechlicz stepped up without question to substitute. He wrapped up his busy season by serving as one of three guest speakers at the Junior BEARS’ End-of-Season Banquet, held at the HERSHEY Lodge just two weeks ago. Rechlicz signed photos and sticks, and took pictures with every person who came up to him and stayed until the final guest table emptied.

Rechlicz is now one of 30 finalists for the AHL’s 2011-12 Yanick Dupre Memorial Award, honoring the overall IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year. The league award is named after the former HERSHEY BEARS forward and AHL All-Star who died in 1997 following a 16-month battle with leukemia. The winner of the Yanick Dupre Memorial Award will be announced by the American Hockey League in the coming weeks.

Defenseman Joel Rechlicz at Capitals practice at Kettler (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Washington Capitals reassign Holtby, Aucoin, Rechlicz to AHL Hershey

Before practice today, the Washington Capitals made a little more space in their dressing room, assigning goalie Braden Holtby and forwards Keith Aucoin and Joel Rechlicz to AHL Hershey.

Holtby was with the club on a special roster exemption for last night’s game, a 5-3 loss to the San Jose Sharks.  With the Caps not playing until Friday, Tomas Vokoun should be recovered from the illness that has prevented him from playing the last two games.

Aucoin played five games in his most recent recall and was a healthy scratch last night.  He did not contribute a point while up with the big club, but leads the AHL in scoring and assists this season.

Rechlicz played in his third game last night, playing less than two minutes on two shifts, but did manage to accumulate a 10 minute misconduct from the bench for taunting.

These moves also open up two roster spots for the Capitals in advance of the NHL trade deadline on Feb. 27.


Dave Nichols is Editor-in-Chief of District Sports Page. He is credentialed to cover the Nats and the Caps, and previously wrote Nats News Network and Caps News Network. Dave’s first sports hero was Bobby Dandridge. Follow Dave’s Capitals coverage on Twitter @CapitalsDSP.

“Wrecker” provides presence and deterrance — and nothing else

The Washington Capitals recalled “forward” Joel Rechlicz Monday in anticipation of a three-game road trip.  The 6’4″, 220 Rechlicz, 24 (and known of course as “Wrecker”), has one goal and one assist this season with AHL Hershey.  He also happens to lead the AHL in penalty minutes with 184 in 27 games.  Last season, he had 132 PIMs in 28 games with the Bears.

Rechlicz had a cup of coffee with a terrible Islanders team in ’08-’09, accumulating one assist and 95 PIMs in 23 games.  Other than that, Wrecker has bounced around the “A” beating people up his entire pro career.

I’ve never met Joel Rechlicz.  He may be full of the most wonderful leadership-y intangibles imaginable.  But his contribution on the ice is nothing more than the willingness to trade punches.  He doesn’t add “toughness” to the Caps’ actual play, because he spends his entire shift either looking for the other team’s tough guy or dropping them right off a face-off in a staged altercation. [Read more…]

Capitals recall fighter Joel Rechlicz from AHL Hershey

On the first day back from the NHL All-Star break, the Washington Capitals made a move to address what apparently some in the organization felt was a need, signing and recalling noted pugilist Joel Rechlicz from AHL Hershey and placing the 24 year old forward on the active roster.  He will wear No. 54 for the Caps.

Joel Rechlicz at Caps Training Camp in Sept. 2011 (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Rechlicz, known for his hammer fists in the “A”, has one goal and one assist in 27 games with Hershey this season.  He leads the AHL in penalty minutes with 184.  Last season for the Bears, Rechlicz played 28 games and posted one goal and 132 PIMs.

Rechlicz has accumulated 562 penalty minutes in 105 career AHL games with Hershey, Bridgeport and Albany.  The 6’4″, 220-pound forward played 23 HNL games with the New York Islanders in the 2008-09 season, with one assist and 95 penalty minutes.

Eakin, 20, has collected eight points (four goals, four assists) and a plus-three rating in 27 NHL games this season. He made his NHL debut on Nov. 1 vs. Anaheim and recorded his first NHL point (an assist) and scored his first NHL goal on Nov. 4 at Carolina.

Just by looking at his stats, one can tell that the only “skill” Rechlicz brings to the Capitals is his fighting skills and he uses them whenever he gets the chance.  It’s interesting — and maybe a little distressing — that the Caps feel like they need this type of presence on the team these days.  Of course, the way Coach Dale Hunter has employed his fourth line, it’s not like Rechlicz will be taking up the roster space of anyone that was playing a whole lot anyway.

Of course, this could just be a temporary situation, with the Caps on the road this week against Tampa Bay and Montreal, with noted antagonists Steve Downie and Rene Bourque.  Regardless, Rechlicz won’t play more than four minutes a night and will only be asked to punch someone when he does get a sweater.


Dave Nichols is Editor-in-Chief of District Sports Page. He is credentialed to cover the Nats and the Caps, and previously wrote Nats News Network and Caps News Network. Dave’s first sports hero was Bobby Dandridge. Follow Dave’s Capitals coverage on Twitter @CapitalsDSP.

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