As one of the NHL's last remaining quasi-enforcers, Daniel Carcillo was all about protecting his teammates on the ice. Now nearing the end of his playing career, Carcillo wants to keep helping his fellow hockey players as they reach a similar point in their lives.
As Chris Kuc writes in a fantastic profile of Carcillo for the Chicago Tribune, the 30-year-old unsigned forward has focused his offseason not on getting a new contract, but establishing Chapter 5, a not-for-profit organization designed to help players adjust to life after their hockey days are over.
For Carcillo, who's battled his own issues within hockey and had one of his closest friends, former defenseman Steve Montador, die in February, this is more important than playing again. He hasn't even spoke to his agent recently. "He called me the other day," Carcillo told Kuc. "I'll return his call soon. I'm not stressing out about it like I have in years past."
On his Stanley Cup day, set for August 30, Carcillo is hosting a party at the Dana Hotel and Spa in Chicago that fans can attend. Proceeds will go to Chapter 5, which is named in honor of Montador, a former NHL player who wore No. 5 before retiring due to health issues.
"It's called Chapter 5 because it's the next chapter of an athlete's life," Carcillo said. "It's turning the page and really having to do something out of the norm and something that most of us really aren't prepared for. It's helping guys transition into real life and kind of re-purpose lives by putting our drive and our commitment into something else. And the number five is because it was 'Monty's number when he was in Chicago."
You can read the full story from Kuc over the Trib's website, and it's definitely worth doing. Carcillo's work off the ice could end up being far more important than anything he's done on the ice if it means helping former players.