So if anyone was wondering what Chicago is getting in Dan Carcillo, he did not hesitate to let people know in his press conference. While some thought it was funny, some it made nervous and others thought “this is the kind of guy they need,” it certainly got the attention of hockey fans around the league.
Forget the fact that he had no idea that Raffi Torres and Tanner Glass were no longer members of the Canucks and try hard to dismiss his comment that certainly is what Bettman and purists do not want to hear:
“The way I play I'm bound to miss a few games every year," Carcillo said. "It comes with the territory. I don't like being suspended or the pay cuts, but the way I play it's tough to stay out of the principal's office."
If you are a marginal hockey/Blackhawk fan you will think this is awesome. There is someone new to watch, he has a screw loose, is going to get in scraps and be pure entertainment. The real Hawks fan that knows the game and cares about winning probably feels a little uneasy about Carcillo’s arrival.
Sure, Carcillo brings a number of things to the table that the Hawks are lacking. He is tough as nails, can get under the skin of any opponent and can drop the gloves when necessary. And while most are thinking about the post season already, it will be even better when the Hawks are playing a team like St. Louis and they have to worry about Jackman taking shots at Kane and Toews after every whistle without protection. The regular season is just as important for those moments and instilling confidence in the skill players that they are protected is essential. Both Carcillo and the pick-up of Jamal Mayers will be huge in this regard.
What “Car Bomb” also brings is baggage. The players you love to hate but love them when they wear your colors will give you issues from time to time. Torres, Cooke etc. are solid players and perhaps bring more to the table than Carcillo but hurt their teams’ reputation with head shots and speculative play. Cooke is a damn fine hockey player though and critical to the Penguins success, while the jury is still out Carcillo. He has had seasons with over ten goals but his last in Philly was nothing to write home about with 4 goals, 2 assists and a -14 rating in 57 games played. He was in trouble with the league on a couple of occasions and most Flyer fans are glad to be rid of him as they believe he hurt the club more than helped.
Let’s take for example the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals when a lot of Hawk fans were thrilled when Peter Laviolette inserted Carcillo in the game 2 line-up. Of course he ran over then teammate Jeff Carter, which was amusing. More importantly for the Hawks at the time was his side-show act was a complete distraction to his own team and had a negative effect on their cup run.
So the real question is what did leaders like Seabrook, Keith, Sharp and especially Toews think when they heard Carcillo’s comments yesterday? Was the reaction a chuckle, concern, elation? Who knows for sure? What we do know is that when Carcillo is in the line-up his objectives for the game better fall in line with those of Coach Q and the Captain. With a roster now ready to compete for the prize again, they do not have the time for one of their own creating a problem. Being outspoken is one thing but if the Hawks are going to do what many think they are capable of doing, Carcillo needs to mature as player this year plain and simple. A high stick, sucker punch, head shot or other, Carcillo (by his own admission) will be reprimanded by the league this season. Not saying he cannot continue to be a pest and stand up for his mates, but when he does do something over- the- top, and rest assured it will happen, it will be interesting to see how the Hawks respond.
If anyone can tame the beast, Captain Serious is the one to do it. Nothing will get in his way of winning and true Hawk fans are hopeful that with the right leadership Carcillo will be a good addition. Time will tell and best of luck to Carcillo in his first season wearing the Indian Head. Let the Daniel Carcillo experiment begin.