You Can’t Teach an Old Dog New Tricks

By Ellen Chlumecky

February 5, 2015

Sometimes hockey players who have been playing the same way for an extended period of time are naive to change. This might be the case for Daniel Carcillo of the Chicago Blackhawks. Scratch the “might be,” he refuses to change his game for the rules of the NHL.

I wrote about Daniel Carcillo’s cross check to Mathieu Perreault about two weeks ago. On February 3rd, he came out with a statement about the incident. Carcillo stated, “I had thoughts when it happened, but right now I’m just trying to get past it. I don’t really see a point in rehashing any emotions that I had. You can’t do what I did in the league today; there’s no room for it.” Seems like a pretty sincere comment, right?

However he went on to say that despite his lengthy history with the league, it’s not going to change the way he plays the game, it hasn’t yet and it won’t in the future.  He made it clear that even after this serious offense, he still will not change his ways.

Even coach Joel Quenneville, who I rarely disagree with, made a statement saying that Daniel Carcillo did what he did because he has to bring an energy to the game. He said that he didn’t believe his resume has hurt him as far as how he’s competing and how he’s playing. Quenneville asserted that he thinks Carcillo sees the balance between rough play and having control over the situation.

I honestly couldn’t disagree with Quenneville more. I don’t believe Carcillo tries to control his game at all. I believe that sometimes he just blindly hits other players and doesn’t really think about what it will do to them or himself.

While I understand there are an excessive amount of reasons why a hockey player might hit another player, many that are reasonable. I also believe that these players make a conscious decision about whether or not they’re going to hurt another player.

While the enforcer’s job is be the tough guy and push around the team, I don’t feel it’s completely necessary to permanently or seriously injure another player. So no, with Carcillo’s current track record I don’t think he knows the balance between rough play and control.

While I want my team to be tough and be intimidating, there are other ways to do that. Carcillo needs to realize that if he continues to act the way he does, he’ll have to deal with serious consequences.

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