I'm going to ask you, the Blackhawks fan, to set aside your past feelings on Dan Carcillo. I'm going to ask you to ignore the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals. Yes, he was a stooge in that series, and was easy to hate, but I'm going to try to get you as excited for his time in Chicago as I am. Watch the whole video...then continue reading. You'll see Carcillo fight now teammate Jamal Mayers, then score a highlight reel goal. It's Carcillo in a nice 1:48 package.
When the Blackhawks signed Carcillo July 1st, I was as shocked as anyone. For the weeks leading up to that day, I had spent countless hours scouring free agent lists, trying to predict just who the Blackhawks would sign. I think every time I saw that name...CARCILLO, DAN...I skipped right past it. But after some thought, and some research, I've come around on the signing, and I really like it.
Carcillo isn't just a shorter, faster version or John Scott. He's not some lunkhead goon who can't skate. He's a hockey player.
During his time in Phoenix, Wayne Gretzky (his then head coach) saw him as a potential 30 goal scorer on the NHL level. A poor man's Rick Tocchet. While I doubt he'll ever reach that mark, 20-25 goals is not out of the question.
During the 2008-09 season, Carcillo spent most of his time in Phoenix playing on their top lines. In fact, 17% of the season was spent with him on the wing of Olli Jokinen and then top prospect Peter Mueller. He spent more time on that line than with any other that season.
During the 2009-10 season with the Flyers, Carcillo spent most of his time (36%) playing on a checking line with Blair Betts and Ian Laperriere, but spent 29% of his ice time with some combination of Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, Scott Hartnell or Simon Gagne...and that's on an Eastern Conference Champion team. (stats courtesy of Dobberhockey.com)
That shows that the Great One isn't the only one who saw skill in his game. If Joel Quenneville can keep Carcillo's head on straight, he could see time with the top two lines. Stan Bowman is on record as saying he's done tinkering with the roster, and this is the team that will go to camp. With Patrick Sharp as the second line center, is Carcillo really a bad option on one of the top two lines? Let's take a look.
Line 1 > XXXX - Toews - Kane
Line 2> XXXX - Sharp - Hossa
The odds on favorite for one of those two XXXX spots is Andrew Brunette. Lock him in on either line. The options beyond him are limited. Sure, Bryan Bickell could play there in a pinch...maybe Viktor Stalberg or Michael Frolik, but none of them knock my socks off there.
What if we do it this way?
Line 1> Carcillo/Brunette - Toews - Kane
Line 2> Carcillo/Brunette - Sharp - Hossa
Line 3> Frolik - Bolland - (Smith/Stalberg/Morin etc.)
Line 4> Bickell - Mayers/Kruger - Mayers/Scott/Olesz etc.)
To me, it balances out the lines, and not only gives protection to Toews, Kane, Sharp and Hossa, but give the Hawks a guy willing to go into the corners and win the puck. That's something I saw Toews doing far too often last season. He's best off playing in the slot or behind the net.
Call me crazy, and maybe it's just the July hockey blues, but I think it could work. Carcillo has been, and will be, his own worst enemy. If the Hawks can keep him right on or right behind that line, this signing could really pay off. If not, it's up to the pressbox he goes. Quenneville will not tolerate bad penalties. If "Car-bomb" wants to play, he has to do it by Quenneville's rules.
Filed under: ben smith, Blackhawks, Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago Sports, Dan Carcillo, danny mac show, dave bolland, hockey, jay zawaski, jeremy morin, joel quenneville, john scott, jonathan toews, Marcus Kruger, marian hossa, michael frolik, NHL, Patrick Kane, patrick sharp, philadelphia flyers, sports, stan bowman, wscr
Tags: blackhawks, chicago blackhawks, Dan Carcillo, danny mac show, dave bolland, hockey, jay zawaski, joel quenneville, jonathan toews, marian hossa, patrick kane, patrick sharp, Sports, stan bowman, viktor stalberg, wscr