Obviously this is like when the New England Patriots sign another team’s former players to gain inside information about their opponents: The Blackhawks know how critical this fake game against the Rangers is, so they need all the insight into Alain Vigneault’s team they can gain.
Otherwise … color us baffled.
Carcillo was a member of the Hawks’ 2013 Stanley Cup championship team, much in the way the guy selling boxes of popcorn at the UC was a member too. True, he scored a game-winning goal to extend the team’s winning to 24 games and appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated, and appeared in four playoff games. But, uh, not exactly a beloved member of that fabled team, as far as Hawks fans are concerned.
Carcillo went on to play for the Los Angeles Kings and the New York Rangers last season, but was released from a pro tryout contract with the Penguins this season. So maybe Stan Bowman thinks there’s some Stanley Cup voodoo with Gorilla Salad?
The reaction from Hawks fans has been somewhere between awe and disgust; here’s Satchel Price’s take on Second City Hockey:
There are low-risk moves that are worthwhile because the possibility of value exists. That's not really what this is. Frankly, I have no idea how to make sense of this, because the old talk of physicality and punching dudes and rah rah rah rah, well, we already have Brandon Mashinter. Are Carilllo and Mashinter supposed to punch each other at the exact same time and create a black hole of grittiness for science to study?
I haven't been as critical of the whole enforcer thing on the site recently, because I've pretty much accepted it as part of this team. Until there's new leadership in place, there's going to be a misguided desire to have a guy on the roster whose priority isn't scoring goals, but defending the guys who do. However, bringing in Carcillo goes beyond that, because it sends a bizarre message to the young players and has almost indiscernible benefits.
Maybe they have a suspension quota to fill?