After my last blog about the Flyers possibly getting Pronger and Guerin, it is a wonder I even want to write another blog...but I figure that if I was wrong before, I have to be right this time.
What am I right about? Daniel Carcillo is a good fit in Philadelphia.
There are a number of factors necessary to truly appreciate the meaning of this deal:
1 - The deal allows Claude Giroux to stay with the big club regardless of injuries. This is important because, as pointed out so eloquently by Brian Burke, teams are only permitted 4 call-ups for the rest of the regular season. The Flyers do not want to be playing with the cap and trying to finesse their way around Guenin, Giroux, and Powe or Ross...the Flyers need stability for the rest of the season. The added cap room allows them to do that.
2 - A line of Upshall-Giroux-Briere would be tremendously exciting to watch during the 1st half of the season, but when you get into March and April...you want size, grit and a nasty forecheck going into the opposing zone. When you have Briere, Giroux and Upshall on a line, do you think any of those players intimidate the likes of Chara in terms of physical play? Not a chance! If you add a Powe or Carcillo (both of whom are over 200 lbs) to the line, then you have something with grit...Upshall was a gnat...easily swatted away. Giroux and Briere are both about 175 lbs soaking wet...
3 - Carcillo has some offensive talent...almost on par with Scottie Upshall. Upshall was a speed winger and created most of his offense from the half wall...not in front of the net. Carcillo can provide a crease crashing presence that would be severely missed from this line. Just look at the other Flyers lines and who stands in front of the net...Knuble, Hartnell, and now Carcillo. All he has to do is screen the goalie and get deflections...
4 - Many Flyers fans have been complaining about Cote's inability to really handle himself in fights. He has the heart of a lion and will give you everything he has, but would you rather have a Daniel Carcillo on the 4th line instead of Riley Cote in the playoffs? Whatever would he be doing on the 4th line you ask? Well, there is this kid named Ross who is pretty decent and could handle the centering duties for Giroux and Briere. (Of course, Ross is about 175 lbs soaking wet too...but it provides the Flyers experimental options.)
Now, what concerns me is the penalty minutes. Scottie Upshall spent a stint in the doghouse last year for taking undisciplined penalties...but eventually found his game. Carcillo has spent significant time in Gretzky's doghouse for the same reason...is there that big of a difference if Carcillo can find his niche too? Carcillo is a grinder, make no bones about it...and I think Daniel knows that too...if he follows the system and is a physical presence...we found a solid 3rd line power forward.
As for fighting, before Cote (and now Carcillo), Donald Brashear used to be the resident tough guy in Flyerdom until Riley Cote came along. Now, if you remember old Brash...he used to take terrible penalties and would extend his shifts WAY too long on more than one occasion a game. In fact, I distinctly recall Brashear costing Washington a game toward the end of March last year for doing the same moronic stuff. If Carcillo gets it through his head that he is on a contending team and there is a place and time for fighting, he might make it. If he doesn't...Carcillo will be destined for a pine ride that will give him burrs on his ass...besides, Cote or Asham is more than capable of shouldering that physical load.
Finally, for the record...I really don't think Carcillo is worth Upshall AND a 2nd rounder...but all and all...this isn't a bad deal. The Flyers have a bit of cap freedom ($400,000), and they have a big, solid presence that blue liners will hate to see charging into the zone.
Just my two cents...
I want to believe in another Flyers Championship!