Capitals Recall Timo Helbling, Jamie Hunt and Dave Steckel from Hershey
/ Washington Capitals
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Washington Capitals have recalled defensemen Timo Helbling and Jamie Hunt and center Dave Steckel from the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL), vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today.
Helbling, 25, has 10 assists and a +6 rating in 27 games with the Bears, with 46 penalty minutes. The 6’3”, 217-pound native of Basel, Switzerland, is a sixth-year professional who made his NHL debut last season with the Tampa Bay Lightning, appearing in nine games and recording an assist. The Capitals signed Helbling as a free agent, Aug. 9, 2006.
Hunt, 22, has two goals and 10 assists (12 points) in 27 games as an AHL rookie in Hershey, ranking second among Bears’ defensemen in scoring. He has a +2 rating and 18 penalty minutes, with one power-play goal. A 6’2”, 200-pound native of Calgary, Alberta, he signed with the Capitals as a free agent on April 1, 2006, after three seasons at Mercyhurst College. If he plays for Washington he would become the first former Laker to play in the NHL. Last season he tied for the NCAA lead in points per game by a defenseman (1.36) with Matt Carle, now with the San Jose Sharks.
Steckel, 24, ranks fifth on the Bears in scoring with 27 points (11 goals, 16 assists) in 32 games and leads the team with a +17 rating. A 6’5”, 222-pound native of Westbend, Wisc., he played seven games for the Capitals last season and helped lead Hershey to the ninth Calder Cup in franchise history. He becomes the seventh member of that team on the Capitals’ active roster. A first-round pick of Los Angeles in 2001 (30th overall), Steckel signed with the Capitals as a free agent on Aug. 25, 2005.
All three players will be available for this evening’s game at New Jersey (7:30 p.m.; NewsChannel 8; WTNT-AM 570). Helbling would wear No. 51, Hunt No. 29 and Steckel No. 25.