Daniel Carcillo's ride with the Chicago Blackhawks came to a tumultuous conclusion Friday with the news that the infamous forward will be undergoing knee surgery to correct a torn ACL suffered in a January 2nd game with Edmonton.
The likelihood that Chicago will pass on another spin in the Carbomb makes it incredibly easy to pass a stern final judgment of Carcillo's brief Blackhawks career. Suspensions and dirty hits will mar the bottom line, but the argument that Carcillo brought nothing to the team is not a complete assessment.
Chicago took a chance on a wild card. It wound up like most of us thought it could. For a while, though, you could see what drove Stan Bowman to roll the dice.
Most of us were of a similar mindset July 1st when Bowman inked the former Philadelphia goon. That's how I saw it. The first words out of my mouth were, "We got Carcillo? I hate that goon."
An obvious attempt to add grit to the lineup, here's how I saw it in my season preview:
He'll either be a great fit for the club or play his way out of town with senseless penalties. Don't look for middle ground with this guy.
If Carcillo can keep his emotions in check and get under the skin of opponents, he could help return an edge to the fourth line along with (Jamal) Mayers.
It turns out we got a little from column A and a little from column B with Carcillo. In 39 games before his injury, Carbomb got into 28 of them, missing four via suspension, six more with an upper body injury and one as a healthy scratch.
Carcillo's use as a top-six forward found a lot of us scratching our heads, but he brought a jolt of energy to the top lines. You could argue that Patrick Kane was a beneficiary of Carcillo on his line early this season.
There is no getting around the penalties and suspensions. The infraction against the Oilers totally changed the face of the game and was a big contributor to a 4-3 loss. Carcillo earned his ticket out of town if and when it comes to that.
On the other hand, to say Carcillo was a pure detriment in his 28 games is not accurate.
Carcillo was on his way to a 20-point season. He had a skater rating of plus-10. His Behind The Net rating at even strength was 2.85, the best of any Chicago player with at least 20 games played. Even with fewer games played, he was second on the team with 76 hits.
I'm not building Carcillo's Hart Trophy resume. I don't think any tears should be shed over his loss for the season, as he pretty much brought it all on himself. Bowman took a chance and it ended like we all knew it could.
What I'm trying to point out is this: Although the Carbomb experiment did not work out in the end, Daniel Carcillo was a player who contributed something to the 'Hawks season.
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