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September 17, 2015

Dan Carcillo

Daniel Carcillo announced his retirement. In 429 NHL games he scored 48 goals, 10 points and 1233 penalty minutes. Though he did not play a single game in the 2015 playoffs, he won his first Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2015.

I must admit to not being too kind to Mr. Carcillo over the years. I have been very outspoken about my distaste of players of his style ruining the game. I found his agitating, rule breaking tactics dastardly and even cowardly. I can not stand pests running around the ice with their sideshows disturbing players who can really play the game. Worst of all they do so far too often with accountability, leaving their teammates to deal with the real physical toll. If the NHL eliminated the pests, they would eliminate a lot of the violence and fighting, and the game would be much better off.

That being said, Carcillo could actually play when he held himself in line. He could play a regular shift and was a versatile asset. He was a good skater, which allowed him to hustle in on the forecheck and soften up the opposing defensemen. He was nicknamed "Car Bomb" and that pretty much sums up the way he played. Too often he blew up due to bad penalties and frequent suspensions - 12 in his career.

After saying all that, I have to give Carcillo his due. In announcing his retirement Carcillo has been very vocal about the troubles hockey players when the end comes. The troubles they have adjusting to the real world, as well as with addictions and injuries.

" My immediate goal is to help athletes transition to the next phase of their life — whether it’s continuing education, finding internships with companies, or networking with other athletes who are dealing with the same issues. My mission is to help guys who are dealing with anxiety, depression, and uncertainty about their future. Not down the line, not next week, but right now," he said.

Carcillo has been particularly disturbed by his friend Steve Montador's death.

"When we won the Stanley Cup (with Chicago in 2015) and I was still lying awake at night thinking about how to carry on Monty’s legacy, it felt like it was a sign that it’s time to close one chapter and open another one."

The former NHLer was found dead in his home at the age of 35. The official cause of death can not be directly linked to hockey, but Carcillo, the Montador family, and many others believe concussions played a direct role.

Carcillo and Montador became fast friends not only because of their ties to hockey, but in helping each other in their battles against alcohol and substance abuse.

Carcillo's vow to help athletes deal with such fates as well as transitioning to the real world is an admirable cause. Good on you, Dan Carcillo.

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