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updated: 7/26/2011 8:53 PM

It shouldn't take long for Hawks fans to warm to Carcillo

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  • Dan Carcillo was a pain in the Hawks' sides when he played for Philly, but now he calls Chicago home.

      Dan Carcillo was a pain in the Hawks' sides when he played for Philly, but now he calls Chicago home.
    Associated Press

 
 

You would have thought it was Dino Ciccarelli himself arriving in Chicago to don the local sweater.

That was the reaction of some after the Blackhawks inked Dan Carcillo, and many remain disturbed by his presence on the Hawks' roster.

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But, honestly, why the uproar?

Carcillo's long history of animosity with Chicago is apparently based on two games against the Hawks in the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals, when Carcillo averaged 9:21 on the ice and took 2 minors.

And Carcillo's biggest hit of the series was on Jeff Carter, when Carcillo missed Tomas Kopecky and cleaned out his teammate.

There also was a fight with Jake Dowell in January when the Flyers beat the Hawks 4-1 and Carcillo saw the ice for 9:51 in Chicago.

Maybe it's the impression that he runs around like a loon and causes more trouble than he's worth.

There's no denying he can be that guy. He's proven it, but Joel Quenneville will get him under control or he won't dress.

It's that simple.

Plus, you have guys like Jonathan Toews, Jamal Mayers and Sean O'Donnell in the room to remind him of his purpose and to keep him in line.

The fact is the Hawks need a human pinball out there to punish the opposition and keep teams honest, and beyond that Carcillo is not without skill.

Quenneville won't be afraid to put him on any line, even the top lines in small doses if his personality is required.

He will take some bad penalties, but hopefully it won't be often. If the Hawks can't kill them, depending on the situation it's a relatively small price to pay for keeping your top players safe.

Carcillo serves a huge purpose here, and if he can keep it together and stay somewhere in the vicinity of the rule book, it probably won't be long before he's a big fan favorite.

Or perhaps those who don't like Carcillo would just prefer to see the Hawks' stars get the living snot beat out of them again.

Tweet street

The fact that Canucks fans already are preoccupied with Carcillo is a decent indication that the Hawks signed the right guy.

Depth on defense

There's no doubt the Hawks lost an effective, puck-moving defenseman in Brian Campbell, and they will miss his skill in that regard.

But the Hawks are much deeper defensively than they were a year ago with the additions of Steve Montador, Sean O'Donnell and Sami Lepisto, joining Brent Seabrook, Duncan Keith, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Nick Leddy and John Scott.

There was a lot to like about Chris Campoli, and it's a shame he priced himself out of town, but the Hawks are still better off than last year when they had to play the likes of Nick Boynton, Jassen Cullimore and Jordan Hendry.

The line

Updated Stanley Cup odds for next season find the Hawks as the seventh choice at 14-1, behind Pittsburgh (6-1), Vancouver (8-1), Philly (10-1), Washington (10-1), Detroit (12-1) and San Jose (12-1).

That's not a huge endorsement for anyone in the West, so assuming health and the Hawks picking up a center sometime during the season, there's no reason to think the Hawks can't get out of the conference next season.

Bears needs

Team apologists insist the Bears need no help on the offensive line or at wide receiver. Everything's just fine there. So why is the club out there in free agency pursuing offensive linemen and receivers?

NFL wins totals

The MGM on Tuesday became the first Vegas book to post wins totals, a daring move considering teams can rise or fall quickly during free agency.

Nevertheless, the MGM has the Bears at 9.5 -- which seems about a half-game too high right now -- behind the Packers (11.5) and ahead of the Lions (7.5) and Vikes (6.5).

The rest of the NFC: Falcons (10.5), Eagles (10), Saints (10), Giants (9.5), Cowboys (9), Bucs (8.5), 49ers (8), Seahawks (7), Rams (7), Redskins (6.5), Cards (6) and Panthers (4.5).

In the AFC, the Pats top the list at 11.5 and are followed by the Steelers (11), Ravens (11), Jets (10), Chargers (10), Colts (10), Texans (8), Dolphins (8), Chiefs (8), Bengals (7.5), Raiders (7), Browns (6.5), Titans (6.5), Broncos (6), Jaguars (6) and Bills (5).

Best quote

Paul Konerko on the Tigers: "Regardless of what happens in this series, you still have a full third of the season left. It's not like anybody is going to be breaking out champagne bottles either way.''

Polling data

Miami Herald's Greg Cote: "In a new poll, 22 percent of Floridians had a favorable opinion of LeBron (James), against 24 percent unfavorable. More surprisingly, 54 percent were unsure. In another new poll, 100 percent of Floridians said they had no faith in any poll in which 54 percent of Floridians claimed no opinion on LeBron.''

And finally …

Omaha World-Herald's Brad Dickson: "Actor Jack Wagner defeated Tony Romo in a Lake Tahoe celebrity golf tournament. If you're keeping track, the 'new, mentally tough' Romo just lost to a soap-opera actor.''

•Listen to Barry Rozner from 9 a.m. to noon Sundays on the Score's "Hit and Run" show at WSCR 670-AM. Follow him @BarryRozner on Twitter.

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