NHL Preview 2011-2012: Key to Success for Chicago Blackhawks' Daniel Carcillo

Kyle WahlgrenCorrespondent ISeptember 3, 2011

PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 22:  Daniel Carcillo #13 of the Philadelphia Flyers controls the puck against Steve Montador #4 of the Buffalo Sabres in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center on April 22, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

With training camp around the corner following a pretty relaxing offseason, many have to imagine how the Chicago Blackhawks intend on utilizing Daniel Carcillo.  It obviously has been made clear that he will fill the role of the 'Hawks "goon," but is that it?

Carcillo is a minimal offensive threat and that is an easy assessment. 

The last 'Hawk to effectively master the art of being able to "get under the skin" of the opposition on a nightly basis was Adam Burish.  Night in, night out, Burish constantly drove the competition to the penalty box or caused hesitation in the corners.  

Carcillo brings that same kind of high energy to the ice, along with a sense of reckless abandon to the fourth line.  While it is assumed that there will be plenty of healthy scratches throughout the season, he will add that layer of protection over the upper echelon of talent that the Hawks have.

Games were lost many times last season due to the lack of physicality on the forecheck.  By adding the few positives that Carcillo actually can bring to the ice, the team may be able to focus more on that high-octane offensive threat they became so known for during the 2009-10 NHL season.

Take a look at tasks on the checklist many fans would like to see Carcillo complete in the 2011-2012 NHL season:

1) Return the "physical" mentality to the Blackhawks' locker room.  In 2009-10, one of the most underrated assets the Hawks had was the ability of Burish and Ben Eager to back up their "banter" with their play.

2) Get in the penalty box.  Not too many times do you hear it, but often the most successful penalties are those that change momentum or take other key players of the opposition with you to the box.  Should the offensive weapons be taking punishment, Carcillo must play the role of an enforcer at only 5'11".

3) In 282 games in the NHL, Carcillo has managed only 36 goals and 37 assists. While no one is expecting that to change, asking for 8 to 10 goals (should the games played establish the opportunity) can't be out of the question.

In order for this signing to be considered a success, the front office, coaches and fans must be able to see Carcillo bring a high level of energy every night. A failure to do so could easily mean a solid string of nights off.


Kyle Wahlgren is the owner of Chicago Sports Authority and contributor at B/R!