As questions begin to pour in over the trade sending fan-favorite Scottie Upshall to the Phoenix Coyotes for pugnacious left wing Daniel Carcillo, General Manager Paul Holmgren did his best to explain the move, that on paper, seems like trading skill and speed for toughness and not much else.
“I’ve always said I like our team the way it is,” said Holmgren. “Losing a couple guys on waivers and giving up Scottie (Upshall) to make our salary cap work a better hurts a little bit. We all like Scottie and for cap reasons we had to get someone who plays like Scottie and is a better fit right now. The core of our team is together and we like them.”
Focusing on just the stat sheet, Carcillo is looked at as simply an enforcer. With 572 penalty minutes in 129 career games, it’s easy to see why many reading into this trade made be discouraged to lose Upshall for what appears to be a “goon”. However, Carcillo does possess some skills that get overlooked because of him playing in the desert and being relied on to be the tough guy. In 2007-08, he scored 13 goals in 56 games, compared to Upshall’s 14 goals in 61 games.
“Carcillo is a good player that happens to be tough,” said Holmgren. “He can play in our top-nine and the fans are going to love him, trust me.”
Described as “insane” by some, Carcillo does play with a chip on his shoulder and it does cost him in penalty minutes. He is not afraid to fight and he loves to get under the skin of opponents even if it means taking a run at someone to get his team pumped up. Immediately after the trade, the Philadelphia media speculated that the acquisition of Carcillo spelled the end for enforcer Riley Cote. But that is not the case.
Carcillo will play third-line minutes and will be asked to bring energy, grit and work ethic, similar to what Upshall brought. And with the upgraded responsibility and not being asked to be the lone enforcer, Carcillo’s statistics could improve and his PIM’s dip, as long as he keeps his head on straight.
At first the trade seems to make the Flyers’ worse, but in the long run it will be looked at as a decent deal. And if Flyers’ fans liked the excitement Upshall brought to the ice — wait till they get a load of Carcillo.