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Why Joel Rechlicz Received A Ten-Minute Penalty In Last Night's Game

One of the most grimly amusing moments of last night's Capitals-Sharks game came when Joel Rechlicz was sent to the penalty box to serve a ten-minute misconduct penalty.

"Joel Rechlicz is in the penalty box right now," NBC Sports Network play-by-play man Mike Emrick said, "and I have no idea why."

Brooks Laich tried to shed some light on the situation this morning on his regularly scheduled slot on DC 101.

"I can probably repeat a little bit of it," Laich said. "You blank blank blank blank."

Caps coach Dale Hunter on the other hand, was a bit less forthcoming when asked about the penalty after last night's game.

"He just yelled at somebody, the ref — I don’t know why he did that. It’s never happened before what I seen," Hunter said. "There’s always chirping back and forth on the benches. I don’t know why the ref called it."

Here's why the ref called it, actually: Rule 75 in the NHL rulebook specifies penalties for using "profane and abusive language." Specifically, Rule 75.4 (iii) covers Rechlicz's penalty nicely

Any player who, after warning by the Referee, persists in any course of conduct (including threatening or abusive language or gestures or similar actions) designed to incite an opponent into incurring a penalty (shall receive a misconduct penalty)

A verbal version of the instigator rule, if that helps you. A bit incongruous for a league that still permits fighting, but hey, that's hockey.

Laich and Hunter quotes via the Bog and Caps Insider, respectively.