They just had to make me look stupid.
After waxing lyrical about how sane and responsible the Blackhawks had been in free agency, they went and signed the biggest nutjob they could find in Dan Carcillo.
That's not to say you won't be horribly entertained by his antics, and I probably will be too, but what Carcillo actually does is anyone's guess.
Well I know what he does. He satisfies the meatballs out there who wanted to see "toughness."
But it's not the right kind of toughness; the kind that fights through a check to make a play, that takes the abuse in front of the net to screen the goalie or that clears the crease when there's a rebound in front of Corey Crawford. No, this toughness is punching guys in the back of the head after whistles, ignoring the puck completely to hit everything in sight, and doing things that will likely get him suspended.
There's no question the Hawks got pushed around a bit last year. Carcillo may help with that, but he may not.
Teams may just allow him to take dumb penalty after dumb penalty and work with the power plays.
He'll get into a lot of scripted fights with the other team's goon that won't mean anything or provide anything. Then again, he might keep some from running Toews and Kane. But they said that about John Scott, too.
The difference is, Carcillo can actually play hockey. He's scored more than 10 goals twice in a year. He can be really effective on a 4th line, as he's a genuine pest too. Think of Adam Burish if he could actually play and if he actually annoyed anyone.
If you can keep Carcillo from losing his mind, there's a real plus here.
At $775k, it's not that big of a risk. If he's a total loon, he'll find himself in the pressbox most nights. And we know that Coach Joel Quenneville will have a short leash, as nothing riles him like dumb penalties.
Likely, you'll see a lot of those scripted fights, or Carbomb trying to stir things up after whistles, and people will mistake that for toughness.
They'll have to be mistaking it for something, because "help for the team" it won't be.