More than 90 seconds into his shift Friday night, Daniel Carcillo saw Winnipeg’s Mathieu Perreault slash the stick out of Duncan Keith’s hands. So Carcillo delivered a two-handed cross-check to an unsuspecting Perreault’s left arm, injuring him in the process.
Jets coach Paul Maurice called it “vicious.” Carcillo called it “a hockey play.” What matters is what the NHL Department of Player Safety calls it. The league took a long look at it, and on Saturday offered Carcillo an in-person hearing at a date to be determined. By doing so, the league retains the option of suspending Carcillo for at least six games. Carcillo’s lengthy history of fines and suspensions surely played a role in the decision. He received only a minor penalty for the cross-check.
In the meantime, Carcillo is suspended until the hearing. He will not play in Sunday’s game against the Dallas Stars, replaced in the lineup by Joakim Nordstrom. Joel Quenneville was not sure when Carcillo’s hearing will be.
“To be honest, I wasn’t thinking about anything,” Carcillo said Saturday. “I was on the ice for over a minute, I was pretty tired. Just kind of drifted down, he drifted into me.”
The replay looked rather gruesome, but TVA in Canada reported that while Perreault will miss “some games,” his arm wasn’t broken. The NHL accounts for both injury and history when it decides on supplementary discipline.
“Just kind of a hockey play at the end of a shift,” Carcillo said. “I must have just caught him between some padding. I’ve gotten hit there, too. It hurts. … Hopefully, he’s OK. I don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Given his history, Carcillo obviously has a finer line to walk than most players do. He had done a nice job of cleaning up his reputation this season, contributing both offensively and defensively while drawing as many penalties as he was taking. But one dangerous hit can undo all that.
“He’s got to play with a purpose [but] he’s got to make sure of the boundaries,” Quenneville said. “That least is so tight that you don’t want to go the wrong way where all of a sudden you’re in the box, or things like that.”
Said Carcillo: “I think they’re watching everybody. You don’t like to see guys get hurt, especially skill guys. It’s what the league wants, to see those guys out there. We don’t want guys going after [Patrick Kane] and them. I don’t really like to speak on that too much. [But] you guys obviously know my reputation.”