When the Komets played against the Quad City Mallards last season, Marc Rechlicz was a player who often caught the eye of Fort Wayne coach Al Sims.
He was always there protecting his teammates, Sims said. He was a bigger guy – 6-foot-4 – and skated really well for a big tough kid, and he handles the puck really well. I think hes a kid who can play a little bit and serve that role as enforcer.
The Komets tried to sign Rechlicz early last summer but he opted to go to Wheeling of the ECHL instead.
Theyve got two affiliations (with higher-level teams) and it seemed like guys were coming down on a weekly basis, said Rechlicz, who never played for the Nailers before being released.
He was signed by the Komets this week and will be in the lineup tonight against Bloomington at Memorial Coliseum.
Its definitely different coming to the rink and being in the other teams room, said Rechlicz, who had one goal, three points and 170 penalty minutes in 68 games for Quad City. Im glad to be playing and glad to be here. Ive heard a lot of good things about Fort Wayne from other guys in the league and other guys Ive played with, so Im happy to be here and hope I can help the team win.
The Komets are off to a 1-2-1 start in their first Central Hockey League season. Theyve been outscored 11-5 and have netted only one even-strength goal.
Were looking to get shots to the net and get people to the net, try to get some easy goals, Sims said. Maybe something that will bounce off us and get into the net. We need something to get us going and get some guys on track.
With the addition of Rechlicz and playmaking center Chris Francis, who was assigned to Fort Wayne by the NHLs Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday, they hope they can get things going against 4-1-0 Bloomington.
But dont expect Rechlicz to do anything flashy, unless it involves dropping his gloves to fight.
I think the fans know, Im a physical guy and like to throw my body around, get in on the forecheck and not be a liability on defense, just be a momentum guy, Rechlicz said.
I will throw the body around, not do anything pretty, but keep it simple and work on the little things.
He spent 15 games with Odessa of the CHL in 2008-09, totaling 60 penalty minutes, so he knows the need for an enforcer is there in this league.
Every team has got a couple guys who can do their business and Im ready to get going and play some games, he said.
The Komets already have an enforcer on their roster, 6-foot-5 Olivier Legault, who is scoreless with 16 penalty minutes in three games. But he is out at least through the weekend with a broken pinky finger.
Rechlicz has to show hes deserving of that spot.
Well just have to see how it plays out, Sims said.