Blackhawks winger Daniel Carcillo was suspended two games after he had a hearing with NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanaham on Saturday at 1 p.m. to discuss a hit he put on the Carolina Hurricanes Joni Pitkanen during Friday night’s game.
Carcillo and Pitkanen ended up in a heap along the end boards during the first period of the Hurricanes’ 3-0 victory over the Hawks at the RBC Center in Raleigh, N.C. As Pitkanen chased after the puck, Carcillo appeared to shove the Carolina defenseman from behind and Pitkanen crashed into the boards. Officials didn’t call a penalty on the play.
“I watched the play. You can look at the play and he’s off balance before there’s contact in my eyes,” coach Joel Quenneville said on Saturday.
“He’s been good and effective in a lot of ways. His scrutiny when he’s on the ice is a lot tighter. His leash for what he can and can’t do is very short. But we don’t want him slowing down how he plays the game. Finding that balance in this situation is key. I think his reputation might’ve been part of it as well.”
Carcillo, who signed a one-year contract with the Hawks during the offseason and has been a valuable addition to the offense while skating with Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa, has run afoul of the league before. The veteran missed the first two games of this season after being suspended for confronting officials following a 2011 Stanley Cup Playoff game while Carcillo played for the Philadelphia Flyers.
“There’s not too much leeway for me in this league” Carcillo said. “I’m giving some serious thought to changing my last name. I’m frustrated. I thought I was doing a pretty good job of making safe hits. I’ve never been suspended for a hit and I’ve made hundreds every year.”
The NHL has been cracking down on illegal hits this season, with Shanahan suspending and fining players at a record rate.