The Washington Capitals made several transactions on the penultimate trading day of the season. To recap them:
-The Capitals traded minor league forward Matt Clackson to the Phoenix Coyotes for former Capital RWJoel Rechlicz, who will report to the AHL Hershey Bears. "Recker," he of the wooden stick, played 3 games for the Capitals last season. This season, he has played 36 games for the Portland Pirates of the AHL, posting 0 points and 149 penalty minutes, but, as Katie points out, his impact on the Bears goes beyond the numbers: "Won't mean much for the Caps, although Recker was a suitable fill in when needed as a call up in DC in the past. Recker is the epitome of the "team" guy. He'll stand up for his teammates, fight when necessary. Provides a spark. Is a voice on the bench and in the locker room. Rallies his team, ultimate cheerleader. Recker is a big part of what the Bears have been lacking. It doesn't matter if he's only skating a few minutes a night, or even scratched. He'll bring his teammates up when they're down and knock them down if they get too high."
-John Erskine was activated from injured reserve and played against the Carolina Hurricanes. As a result, Dmitry Orlov and Tomas Kundratek were reassigned to Hershey.
-To make room on the Hershey blue line, the Capitals traded defenseman Garrett Stafford to the Edmonton Oilers for LW Dane Byers, who will also report to the AHL. This season with Oklahoma City of the AHL, Byers has 10 points and 144 penalty minutes in 58 games. In his career, Byers has played 14 NHL games over three seasons with the New York Rangers and Columbus Blue Jackets, plus has 249 points in 443 AHL games.
The Capitals signed undrafted college free agent defenseman Nate Schmidt out of the University of Minnesota to a 2-year entry-level contract. If that name sounds familiar, it's because he played at the Capitals' Development Camp last summer. A 6', 195-lb offensive defenseman, Schmidt doesn't take a lot of penalties, but isn't afraid to drop the mitts when needed, either. He could be a top prospect for the Capitals. He is with the big team for the moment but will likely be assigned to Hershey soon.