Daniel Carcillo skates during Blackhawks training camp at the United Center Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011, in Chicago. | John J. Kim~Sun-Times
Updated: November 30, 2011 12:17AM
Daniel Carcillo was frustrated. The first days of training camp weren’t going as he had hoped. Summer rust was taking too much time to shake off.
“Cement hands,” the Blackhawks’ new tough guy lamented.
So when up-and-coming agitator Andrew Shaw landed a solid check on Viktor Stalberg in a scrimmage Sunday at Johnny’s IceHouse West, Carcillo felt compelled to release some of that frustration and do what’s expected of him this season.
“Everybody knows I like to protect my teammates,” said Carcillo, who threw a flurry of punches for the win. “He’s a young kid. I remember when I was a young kid and somebody gave me a shot. He made a big hit. I slashed him. He slashed me, and that was that.”
What he did was what Hawks fans should come to expect from Carcillo, and no one, including the younger Shaw, seemed to mind that his first display came against a teammate (which isn’t uncommon during training camps).
“I was glad he said yes,’’ Shaw said. “We just had some fun with it.”
As the Hawks often say, Carcillo has some skill and skates well, especially compared to other fighters. But it’s his edgier nature that makes him valuable.
Shaw fully understands the value of players who teeter on the edge. In fact, he has modeled his game after Carcillo’s. Shaw made waves with his performance at prospect camp in the summer, which prompted the Hawks to sign him with Rockford. He’s the Hawks’ agitator/scrapper of the future.
“I’ve grown up watching him [and] always looked up to him,” said Shaw, 20, who had 135 penalty minutes in the Ontario Hockey League last season.
“I’ve kind of mimicked his style of play. I’ve always enjoyed doing that role.
“He knows how it goes. I’m not mad at him or anything. It’s just the way of the game. I play exactly like him.”
Carcillo definitely sees the similarities.
“He’s a feisty young kid,” said Carcillo, who signed a one-year, $775,000 deal with the Hawks. “He doesn’t have much size, which I never really had. He does kind of remind me a bit of myself. It is what it is. It’s a man’s game. It’s just a hockey fight. It happens in hockey.
“I just haven’t been on the ice much in the summer. It has been a bit of a transition period, going from the weight room to the ice. Just going through that, it’s always frustrating.”