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|2009 - Dan Carcillo||76||12||10||22||5||207||1||1||194||11:14||105||11.4|
For Dan Carcillo, 2009-10 was a tale of two seasons. There was the beginning of the year, where Carcillo was a loose cannon, up to the same old antics that defined his first half-season in Philadelphia a year prior. He took dumb penalties, living up to his reputation as an out of control bad ass who couldn't contain his emotions. He hurt the team more often than not.
After the jump, we'll examine his resurgence.
Enter Peter Laviolette. When the Flyers hired their new head coach on December 4, one of the big questions was how he would respond to a team and an organization known for its history of tough stuff. Laviolette was vehemently anti-fighting in Carolina, and a clash between a guy like Carcillo and a coach like Laviolette seemed imminent.
It took one game. In the first game under the new regime, Carcillo, who had admittedly shown small signs of improvement in his stupidity to that point, showed everybody that he was still a bit wild. He sucker punched Washington's Matt Bradley in the face, worthy of a four-game suspension.
Laviolette made his opinion known. From there, we saw a clearly obvious change in Carbomb's game. From that point on, he quickly became the fan favorite Paul Holmgren promised he would become when acquiring him at the trade deadline in 2009.
As we wrote during the season:
Since, smart play has become a not-so-shocking staple of his game. It slowly but surely has become expected for Carcillo to draw penalties more often than he takes them, and the fights he engages in these days are often calculated, strategic endeavors instead of reckless, adrenaline-driven fits of rage.
He's even added a bit of the scoring touch, and his fine play has been appreciated by his coach in more than just words. Carcillo is a now serving on Laviolette's top line, playing with Selke-worthy captain Mike Richards and the always smooth-as-ice Simon Gagne. He compliments those two with a perfect mix of aggression and hockey sense, giving the two point producers room to work while sometimes even stepping onto the score sheet himself.
He was that player for the Flyers down the stretch of the regular season. Into the playoffs, too. Sure, at times he would regress to his old self a bit, but rarely ever in the second half of the season did he hurt the team based on doing something stupid alone. Many, many times the team was hurt due to Carcillo's reputation, but he's made great strides this season to fix that reputation.
He even won the respect of Peter Laviolette, who said during the playoffs that scratching Carcillo was one of the toughest things he's ever had to do as a coach. So now, what happens with Carbomb? The restricted free agent may or may not return to Philadelphia next season. Does he fit in the mix? It's obvious, I think that he can't continue to play with Simon Gagne and Mike Richards on the top line. As well as that worked out, it's not the ideal circumstance.
So, do you keep Carcillo and plop him on the fourth line with Blair Betts and Ian Laperriere? It's really the only place he fits, and a lot of that depends on if you decide to re-sign Darroll Powe and Arron Asham, too. There are questions to be asked, but one thing can be sure: if Carcillo isn't here next year, it's not because the Flyers didn't want him back. It's because he just doesn't fit on the roster.