Fans were allowed to ask only three questions during the session with management at the Blackhawks convention on Saturday, but one of them put to general manager Stan Bowman was inevitable.
What was the organization thinking when it signed the villainous Dan Carcillo as a free agent? That’s what one fan wanted to know.
“You don’t like to play against those players because they really annoy you,” Bowman said. “There’s a handful of them in the league that just have a way of getting under your skin and really get you off your game, but there’s obviously another side to it, which is he can play hockey as well.
“When you have a guy that plays that style and is a liability, it becomes a distraction and a sideshow. But he’s got a lot of ability. He’s going to be that guy who plays that rugged style and can be an agitator, but he’s skilled enough and has the ability to play with good players.”
There will no doubt be times when coach Joel Quenneville feels the need to put Carcillo at left wing on the first line with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane — maybe when games get nasty against Vancouver.
“Carcillo is one of those guys who is very annoying to play against, but when he’s on your side he keeps the other team on edge,” Bowman said. “He’s going to make sure they don’t take liberties with our star players.
“All you have to do is ask Toews or Kane or (Patrick) Sharp about these kind of players when they’re on your team, and they like that because they like to do their thing and not always be looking over their shoulder at guys coming after them. It’s going to make teams things twice about targeting our stars.”
Fun with Kane:
Patrick Kane was the center of attention Saturday at the convention’s kids-only press conference.
“How did you really break your wrist?” a boy asked Kane.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Kane replied jokingly.
A 9-year-old girl asked Kane if he would take her to prom in nine years.
“If we were both 18, I’d go with you,” Kane said.
Another questioner wanted to know when Kane planned to get married.
“I’m not in any rush,” Kane said as the big crowd laughed.
Sharp up next:
Now that Stan Bowman has signed restricted free agent Michael Frolik and agreed to part ways with Chris Campoli, at some point in the weeks ahead talks with Patrick Sharp’s agent on a new contract will become more serious.
There is no rush to sign Sharp, who is signed through next season at $3.9 million, but the 34-goal scorer would be an unrestricted free agent next July 1.
If anything, Bowman has shown the ability to get his stars signed before free agency, and there’s no reason to believe it won’t get done with Sharp at some point in the next 12 months.
“I’ve stated I want to stay here and hopefully the organization wants me to stay,” Sharp said. “Besides that, I’m not really going to focus on it. I’m just gong to try to be the best player I can be and be a good teammates. Those things tend to sort themselves out.”Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.