Not to be glib, but Daniel “Carbomb” Carcillo is the last of a dying breed. Better people than I have written about what it means to be an enforcer type player and what that does to a person. Carcillo himself came from the mold of a Danny Briere (who also retired this off-season) or a Marty St. Louis (ditto) in size, however for the most part you would be hard press to ever confuse them for Carcillo.
Danny Briere had 4 hat tricks in his career, 2 all-star game appearances and some pretty big playoff games (mainly with Buffalo in ’06) as well as finished with 307 goals, 389 assists and 696 points …. and 744 penalty minutes in 973 games played. Whereas in only 429 games, Carcillo had 1,233 penalty minutes. Marty St Louis finished with 391 goals, 642 assists and 310 penalty minutes in 1,134 games played as well as winning the Lady Byng Memorial Award three times in his career. Carcillo and the award for sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct for in this case, his on-ice activities? The man who was either suspended or fined 12 times in his first 9 seasons? Yeah right.
This is not an attack piece on Carcillo. No. This is to remind everyone that people can change and/or people can be very different than what your preconceived notions of them are. Everyone expects Carcillo to be a jerk or at least to be the living hockey embodiment of the protagonist of 2000’s Hot Topic teenager anthem Wheatus’ Teenage Dirtbag. But, besides doing quiet charity work like many a hockey player (including the ‘Champs for Charity’ where he ended up ‘fighting’ former pitcher Ryan Dempster as well as during the latest lockout, he was a part of Operation Hat Trick to donate money to Hurricane Sandy and I’m pretty sure he’s also donated to Scott Hartnell’s #HartnellDown Foundation), he’s starting a new charity called Chapter 5, dedicated to helping NHLers transition into retirement.
He retired on Thursday September 17th via The Players’ Tribune in an article called A Bittersweet Day. One of the reasons his new charity is going to be dedicated to helping former NHL players after they retire is because his very close friend, Steve “The Matador” Montador died in February of this year. Carcillo finished his career with another Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in June. On the night that they won the Cup, Carcillo’s friend Missy wore Montador’s jersey on the ice while celebrating with him. The ‘A Bittersweet Day’ goes into detail about Carcillo’s day with the Cup and how he took it to a golf course that he and Montador loved playing/goofing around in. Carcillo also wrote another article in April on The Players’ Tribune called, Gone, which also had a very emotional video where he talks about how we (fans, players, trainers, the sport, the game, the world) can’t lose another Steve Montador.
Normally when a player retires, you wish them good luck and hope that they spend their newly found vacation time drinking out of a coconut on some exotic beach. In this case, I hope Carcillo continues the momentum he started with the Chapter 5 Foundation as quickly as he can because it’s such an important cause for all of us who are fans of the game of hockey.