It's weird, for a player who we thought who was never going to be more than a bit-part player and more of a circus act, few signings and then performance generated as much debate as Dan Carcillo. In the end, he filled a role we never thought he would (or should), while still providing the antics we feared and few of the ones we actually wanted. And then he was gone pretty much in a flash, and the Hawks found a younger, faster, more useful version of him. That didn't stop the Hawks from re-upping Carcillo, and now instead of angry or happy, I'm basically just confused about his inclusion on the Hawks roster.
Dan Carcillo's Stats: 29G 2G 9A 11P +10 82PIM +2.85 Behind The Net Rating, -0.038 Quality of Comp., 9.11 CORSI/60
The Good: There's certainly a lot of ammo for this category, which is strange. After serving his two-game suspension to start the season, Car Bomb found himself skating on the second line with Marian Hossa and Patrick Kane. And the thing was, a lot of nights he didn't look out of place there. He got to the net, he cleared some space for the other two, and on occasion displayed better than we thought hands. Those numbers above might be more of a result of who he played with, but you can easily argue that at the very least he didn't drag them down and much more. On nights when he did have his head on straight (which needed to be more often), Carcillo was effective. There was the night he cleared out Todd Bertuzzi and then pretty much won a fight against him, who had a whole lot of size on him. Oh, and the look on his face when he scored on a breakaway against Tampa was pretty priceless. There's also the facet that he was popular in the room and made it a more lively place. I usually dismiss that part of the game, but it's probably a bigger part of a good team than I know and can't be completely discounted.
The Bad: Starting off on the second line led to Car Bomb falling in love with his offense far too often. The pest/forechecking he was supposed to bring would take a back seat to trying to be a playmaker, which he simply isn't. It got him demoted to the fourth line a couple times in only 29 games, even though that's probably where he should have been anyway. And of course, there was the dark side to his game. Though he blew out his knee trying to maim Tom Gilbert, that was hardly the only time he looked to injure an opponent. One example was a game in Minnesota where he delayed coming off the bench just long enough to try and blindside Justin Faulk (I think), which was not above board. There were other instances of Carcillo looking to injure players as well, and you can't have that. Most of Carcillo's annoying or instigating was saved for the end of games where the Hawks were getting blown out anyway, which doesn't really provide anything. And now there's a reconstructed knee on a pair of legs that weren't all that quick anyway.
Contract: Two more years at an 825K hit.
Stick Around Or Hit The Bricks: Well, this decision has already been made, but it's still curious. I was tempted to do Andrew Shaw's and Car Bomb's review together, because they seem so linked. Because Shaw seemingly does everything that Carcillo would be expected to do, except he does it better and faster. Shaw has a better nose for the net, he draws more penalties that matter, he skates better, and he can kill penalties. So I don't know what they envision Carcillo doing next year, unless they think having two undersized pests on the roster is a good idea (I don't). I understand the Hawks need a bit more sandpaper or whatever your favorite hockey term for that is, but they need in the form of players who are bigger and can play at the speed the Hawks want to play. Coming off knee surgery, I don't see how that's Carcillo.