The Chicago Blackhawks received a pair of pleasant surprises last season, in Daniel Carcillo and Andrew Shaw.
Carcillo went from hated signing to fan favorite in just a matter of weeks, while proving he could actually contribute with something other than his fists. Of course, that didn’t stop a completely boneheaded play from ending his season early.
Then you have Shaw, the 2011 fourth round pick who became a folk hero with the Blackhawks, thanks to his physical play and knack for cheap and timely goals. Many figured his style of play, which is similar to Carcillo, would mean the end of Carbomb’s brief tenure in Chicago.
But alas, both return this season, which raises the question of how both will fit into the lineup. The answer will likely go back to one of the illusions of Stan Bowman regarding Carcillo. Bowman sees Carcillo as a top six forward, as odd as that seems to most of us. He uses an extremely small sample space from early last year, where Carcillo was actually pretty decent on the second line.
Shaw proved to be a solid option on the checking line, but the Hawks have so many options in the bottom six, the question might not be so much one of Carcillo vs. Shaw as much as it is whether Shaw fits period.
I do think the Blackhawks overvalue Andrew Shaw, and when it comes down to it, having two guys that play so much on the edge is a bit concerning. With a team that needs all the secondary scoring it can get, can you really afford to put both in the lineup on a nightly basis?
Regardless of what I think or whether there is actually room for both, I’d be very surprised to not see both in the lineup come October. The front office loves both, and unless that changes sometime, soon, neither is going anywhere.