Over the weekend, I planned on taking a look at the controversial trade deadline deal that saw Scottie Upshall head to Phoenix for tough guy Daniel Carcillo. It got pushed back to today, but it needs to be known that I didn't plan on Upshall scoring two critical goals in his new teams' 6-5 win over Dallas last night.
So if you're planning on saying something like "you're only writing this because Upshall had a great game last night," stop now. That's not the case.
But it certainly is rather interesting. First off, let's look at the stats of each player since the deal was made.
|PHX - Scottie Upshall||13||5||4||9||1||18||3||0||0||43||11.6|
|PHI - Daniel Carcillo||13||0||3||3||0||56||0||0||0||19||0.0|
Obviously, Upshall has been the better offensive player. We were told when this deal was made that these guys were essentially the same player. There wouldn't be much drop off in offense with Upshall going out the door. Well, look at the numbers.
Upshall has been playing on a line with Matthew Lombardi and Petr Prucha, who were both deadline pick ups as well. Lombardi has five goals with Phoenix and Prucha has two. Scottie has been the best player on that line. Period. Don't believe me? Here's what a Phoenix fan has to say.
Apparently [Upshall] is going to make [Gretzky's] line swapping look like genius everytime it includes inserting [Scottie] into a line. According to Panger & Co (the Phoenix broadcasters), [Upshall] has an uncanny ability to bring energy and heart to any line he’s played on. If you didn’t love the Carcillo trade, you still gotta give Upshall his props for what he’s brought to the 'Yotes in his short tenure.
Let's flip that last line around. "If you didn't love the Upshall trade, you still gotta give Carcillo his props for what he's brought to the Flyers in his short tenure." Does that sound right?
When Carcillo was picked up, the optimistic among us basically said that he didn't have a chance to let loose his offensive potential in Phoenix, due to, among other things, a lack of skilled linemates. In Philadelphia, Carcillo has had a chance to play with Danny Briere, Claude Giroux, Joffrey Lupul, Mike Richards, and Jeff Carter at one point or another. If you didn't get the memo, those guys can score. With the exception of the rookie Giroux, all have scored 25 goals in a season in their careers.
Carcillo has had excellent opportunities to show his offensive worth and he hasn't done it. Making it even harder to swallow, Upshall's offensive potential seems to be growing in the desert.
But okay, let's be fair here. Carcillo isn't going to be the next Gretzky (neither is Upshall, for that matter), but he does bring something of worth to the table. He's not a defensive liability and he does bring good energy every time he hits the ice. He has been an effective tough guy for the Flyers, and he's yet to hurt the team with a stupid penalty yet. He actually wins fights too (I'm looking at you, Riley).
But on Saturday night against the Islanders, I believe we saw a perfect representation of Carcillo's worth on this team. He dropped the gloves with Nate Thompson of the Isles at a time of the hockey game where the Flyers needed a spark. A good idea, yes. But literally one second later, Cote went at it with Josh Rechlicz, and then three minutes later, Arron Asham fought Tim Jackman.
If that's not proof that the Flyers have too many of these "energy guys" or "enforcers" or "tough guys" or whatever you want to call them, then what is?
Carcillo hasn't been a terrible Flyer. I enjoy his style of play, just as Paul Holmgren said we all would. But I still don't see why the deal was made. The same criticisms I had on deadline day ring just as loud today. What are your thoughts?