The Pittsburgh Penguins announced today the club signed Daniel Carcillo to a professional tryout contract ahead of training camp. The 29-year-old forward will hope to earn a contract and crack the Penguins lineup that lost some of their tough guys in free agency this summer.
When we last saw Carcillo, he was getting suspended by the NHL for abuse of an official during Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Montreal Canadiens. The original 10-game suspension was eventually lowered to six games after an appeal, so it will not carry over to this season.
The noted agitator actually played on both teams that made it to the Stanley Cup Final at various points last season, having started the year with the Los Angeles Kings before being traded to the New York Rangers. The year before that, he was a member of the Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks. So perhaps the Penguins are looking for a little postseason luck?
Carcillo actually was originally drafted by the Pens in the third round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, but was traded to the Coyotes before ever suiting up for the team.
The Penguins already have Steve Downie, who has been known to get into his share of scraps, on the roster, but perhaps they wanted to see what Carcillo could offer in the wake of Tanner Glass and Deryk Engelland signing deals elsewhere this summer.
That said, the Pens needed to get deeper at forward and adding Carcillo might not help to that end. Seeing him beating out a number of players already in line to make the Penguins' opening night roster seems like a stretch. Additionally, as the value of fighting and the roles of enforcer-types decreases, there’s less need for players like Carcillo, who averaged just over nine minutes per game last season.
One has to wonder how Penguins fans feel about adding Carcillo, who so often has been on the other side of rivalries, particularly when he played for the Philadelphia Flyers.
By signing him to a pro tryout contract, it’s not much of a risk on the Penguins’ part. They can see if there’s anything Carcillo brings that they don’t already have or need. If nothing else, they might be able to use the mythical “Carcillo Effect” to try and get to the Stanley Cup Final this year like his last three teams did.
In 390 career NHL games, Carcillo has 92 points and 1,179 penalties in minutes.