Daniel Carcillo was a member of the Los Angeles Kings for a brief moment this season before being shipped to the New York Rangers for a conditional seventh-round pick in a move that has proved to be “addition by subtraction”. In Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Montreal Canadiens, Carcillo hit an official attempting to break up a fight between him and Montreal forward Brandon Prust. The fight came in the wake of a bone-jarring hit from Prust on New York forward Derek Stepan that went unpenalized. While the counter argument is if the officials called the initial penalty then Carcillo wouldn’t have put his hands on the official, it is still an inexcusable act. Carcillo’s moment of rage, selfishness and thoughtlessness cost him a 10-game suspension that will end his 2014 playoffs.
The Kings traded for Carcillo hoping he’d be a spark plug to serve as the team’s enforcer and contributed at least a little on offense. With two points in 26 games, Carcillo was shipped to Rangers and the Kings haven’t been adversely affected in his absence. While the Kings do not have an “enforcer” (the 21st century word for “goon”), it obviously hasn’t hindered their abilities in terms of bringing tenacity on a night in, night out basis. It seems like every player on the Kings contributes physically, and if called upon regular forwards such as Kyle Clifford, Dwight King and Jordan Nolan can drop the gloves if they have to. But none of those players exist solely to fight, and their all-around games are what makes them contributors to the Kings’ postseason success.
The game has changed and is more fast paced than ever before, making having player of Carcillo’s ilk almost completely detrimental. With his inability to do anything beyond fight and now his latest thoughtless actions, the Kings are surely not regretting trading Carcillo even for the minimum return they got. The risk of him doing something really, really thoughtless in any of the Kings’ playoff series is just too great. Having a player who more closely resembles Ogie Ogilthorpe than an actual hockey player isn’t conducive to icing a championship caliber team.