Carcillo could thrive with Blackhawks

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

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.




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  • I'm not sure Carbomb can keep Brunette AND Frolik AND Smith AND Bickell from skating in the top 6 this year.

    What is more intriguing to me w/ this one-year experiment is the similarities between Carcillo & Kyle Beach at a young age... the idea that they could be a 20 goal, 200 PIM guy is fascinating and makes people wonder, but the reality for Carcillo has been 10 goals and 250 PIM instead. I'm hoping Beach amounts to more in his early NHL career than Carcillo has, but this might be the opening act to the Beach Era. We shall see....

  • Nothing I've seen or heard makes me feel like Beach is going to make the team. The kid's an afterthought to the GM and coach. They don't seem excited. I want him to get a shot, but has he really earned it?

    As for Carcillo, I'm not saying he should be given the top line spot right away. He's going to need to earn it by playing at the line, not over it, and not hurting the team. I don't mind a penalty here or there, but misconducts etc. will not be tolerated. If he plays with his head screwed on correctly, I wouldn't mind giving him a look with the stars. It's more about balancing the bottom 3 lines.

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