It wasn't very long after the Chicago Blackhawks officially introduced Daniel Carcillo (along with Andrew Brunette) that Carcillo started showing the "screw you" attitude he's so well known for.
He made no hurry attacking rival Vancouver. Not just the team, but specific players, naming Max Lapierre at the top of his list. Carcillo has a long history of trash-talking that goes along with his dirty play.
He's no stranger to suspensions and pay cuts. In fact, Carcillo is suspended for the first two regular season games because of an in-between periods incident with officials last playoffs.
"The way I play I'm bound to miss a few games every year," Carcillo said. "It comes with the territory. I don't like being suspended or the pay cuts, but the way I play it's tough to stay out of the principal's office."
But all of this toughness and dirty attitude is exactly what GM Stan Bowman wanted to bring to the 'Hawks this season. Jamal Mayers and Steve Montador, along with Carcillo, complement the 'Hawks' desire to add toughness to the team.
But some criticize the move to bring in Carcillo, who, they claim, has too big of a mouth and not enough skill to counter it, comparing Carcillo to Carlos Zambrano, and part of that is true. Carcillo has never been a hugely productive forward. He's an infamous tweeter, but no longer has an account, and he only amassed a total of six points last season in 57 games. But being moved to the fourth line will have that effect on your stats.
With all that to his name, it puts fans in a tough spot on whether signing Carcillo is worth all the extra baggage he brings with him. NHL fans love tough players, but having a big mouth and using it a lot is a very fast way to make enemies even if they're your fans.
The direction Bowman wants to go with these new players isn't entirely new, but the trash-talking is. The 'Hawks had tough guys before in Andrew Ladd and Dustin Byfuglien, but those guys complemented their grittiness with offensive skills, and they rarely ever called players out directly in interviews.
There is no doubt Carcillo can play the gritty part, but offensive production is an uncertainty. Carcillo has gotten better when it comes to staying out of the penalty box and he did have a decent offensive season in 2009-10, so there's reasons to be somewhat optimistic.
Carcillo insists that, given a fresh start, he can prove he's worth the risk.
"Everybody always (says) that I can fight, that I'm tough and I can hit, but I pride myself on my game, as well," Carcillo said. "I never want to be that fourth-line guy and that's kind of what I turned into last year. That's what they wanted me to be and I had a really, really hard time with it."
Carcillo's exact spot on the roster isn't known yet, but I assume it'll mostly be decided by the way he plays on the ice and if he can live up to his own words. Either way, it's a risk for the 'Hawks that could end up hurting the team or prove to be an important factor in winning this season.
Let the season begin and let's find out.
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