While he had a relatively quiet night overall on Wednesday evening, it was nice to see Kris Versteeg back in the lineup for the Chicago Blackhawks. Yet, we knew that such a move was going to come at a price, with a forward losing his job and donning a suit in the press box instead of a uniform on the ice. Even more unfortunately, anyone with even minimal knowledge of the Hawks and the workings of the man behind the bench knew it'd be Teuvo Teravainen getting the boot from the lineup.
Daniel Carcillo has always been a favorite of the front office and the coaching staff. The reasons for this are not actually known. Perhaps he has photos or inside information exposing Joel Quenneville in some form or fashion. How else could he receive an extension after suffering a season ending suspension and injury, and then brought back again for a second tenure with a legitimate Stanley Cup contender?
Regardless of that fact, it has long been evident that there is no place for Carcillo in the Hawks' lineup. He was supposed to bring sandpaper and toughness and be willing to drop the gloves and whatever other unnecessary elements he's actually known for. Instead, he brought a cross check that featured a six-game suspension and not much of anything else.
On Wednesday night against Vancouver, Carcillo logged just 5:43 of ice time. FIVE MINUTES AND FORTY-THREE SECONDS. Exactly what purpose does any player serve in that length of time? He had exactly zero hits throughout that minuscule length of time. In fact, he has only 33 on the season. Ten Blackhawks have more than that. Joakim Nordstrom has over 20 more and has appeared in only 24 games. He has four fighting majors on the year. These numbers may appear irrelevant, but when they are providing the only real rationale for Carcillo's presence in the lineup and they look like that, how can you continue to justify it?
It becomes even more egregious when you consider the potential talent that he is finding himself taking minutes from. Teuvo Teravainen hasn't exactly been an outpouring of points for the Hawks, but his game/confidence has improved as he's been up with the big club, and the flashes of greatness that many have predicted have been there. He has absurd hands and playmaking skills, and his elite vision has been evident for quite a bit already.
Quenneville will use the excuse that he's a top nine forward, but there's just no room for him. Yet, Andrew Shaw is centering the third line. Shaw has more upside, and probably can do Carcillo's "job" better than he can from the fourth line, no? That would allow Teuvo to slot in on the third line, between Bickell and Kris Versteeg, who would have much more offensive upside if they had a competent center between them, as is not currently the case with Shaw there.
The frustration that the collective Blackhawks fanbase has demonstrated toward Joel Quenneville is not unwarranted. Go ahead and scream TWO CUPS! all you want. There is absolutely no excuse for Daniel Carcillo, who is expected to serve a very particular purpose and does not even do so, to find a spot in the lineup regularly over Teuvo Teravainen. Especially when the potential lineup is right there, staring Q in his mustachioed face.
Randy Holt is a staff writer for Second City Hockey. You can follow him on Twitter @RandallPnkFloyd.