Daniel Carcillo shares story of how Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman ‘saved his life’
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Former Blackhawks left winger Daniel Carcillo had no problem ripping his old team on Tuesday after the front office made the decision to cut ties with coach Joel Quenneville.
“Quenneville deserves better,” Carcillo tweeted shortly after the news broke. “A man’s man.”
Carcillo went so far as to write Quenneville’s firing was “nothing more than” team president John McDonough, general manager Stan Bowman and senior vice president of hockey operations Al MacIssac’s “desperate attempt to save their jobs.”
One day later, Carcillo found himself cleaning up a mess he created.
“I take responsibility for fueling some of that narrative yesterday,” Carcillo tweeted Wednesday. “I lost sleep over it last night.”
Carcillo backpedaled on some of what he originally tweeted. And in the matter of one minute, he sent 10 tweets detailing a very personal story about how Bowman actually helped him save his life.
“I want people to know the kind of man that Stan Bowman is,” Carcillo wrote. “I want to people to take a breathe before they spew negativity towards ppl they’ve never met. Stan is a survivor. He’s a warrior.”
After playing the Hawks in the 2010 Stanley Cup Final as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers, Carcillo signed a one-year deal with the Hawks in July 2011. Carcillo, who has been open about his past struggles with addiction, said this was around the time he started cleaning up his act.
“When I came to the Blackhawks, I had made several lifestyle changes,” Carcillo wrote. “The most significant being I was clean and sober for the for the first time in my career. From everything. No NyQuil. No alcohol. No opiates. No weed. Nothing. I did 90 meetings in 90 days.”
Carcillo wrote that he was trying to be as transparent with the Hawks about his transition to a cleaner lifestyle.
But his journey to living sober didn’t come without a relapse.
After receiving surgery in January 2012 to repair a ligament in his knee, Carcillo signed a two-year deal in March. He tweeted it was “somewhat unheard of in my position [because] of my injury.”
“Stan trusted me,” Carcillo tweeted. “He took a chance on me [because] he believed in my character from what I had shown him in my short time with the organization. I signed the contract. I was grateful.
“But I had this guilt eating away at my soul that I could not shake. I wasn’t being 100 percent honest & respectful towards Stan. The same courtesy he showed me was not being reciprocated. I had to come clean.”
Two days after signing his new contract, Carcillo marched into Bowman’s office and told him he needed help to get off of opiates, he wrote.
“I’m sure this came as a shock to him, but he couldn’t have been more graceful & caring with how he handled my situation,” Carcillo tweeted. “I became emotional. I told him I was sorry. I thought it was my fault. I was angry at myself for the position I was putting him & the organization in.
“Stan reassured me that the most important piece to this situation was my health. He saved my life. He never once made me feel guilty or unwanted. He encouraged me to seek help. I wanted to! I wanted to be the healthiest version of myself bc I wanted to perform for him.bc of the trust he instilled in me. I never wanted to let him down.”
“I will never ever forget how Stan Bowman saved my life.”