With more than 400 games under his belt and two Stanley Cup championships to his name, Daniel Carcillo may be ready to walk away from the professional game.
In an interview on WGN radio’s Kap & Haugh, Carcillo said he has been considering moving on from the game. Currently an unrestricted free agent following a one-year, $555,000 contract with the Chicago Blackhawks, Carcillo, 30, isn’t sure what the future will hold.
“This year has kind of been a little bit different,” Carcillo said. “I’ve prepared myself the past two or three years to kind of do some different things. I’ve always had the vision of leaving the game on my own terms, so, not necessarily that I’m going to do that, but it’s definitely in the forefront of my mind these days.”
Carcillo had a difficult campaign in 2014-15. He played sparingly for the Blackhawks, missed games due to both suspension and injury and lost a close friend when former NHLer Steve Montador passed away suddenly in February.
“I played my last — well, I think I may have played my last game — in Philly,” Carcillo said. “It was very emotional going back to the game. I kind of felt Steve with me when I was there and I had a really good game. Obviously, I suffered a concussion, and I look back and wonder why these things happen. I’m a big believer in things happening for a reason and you have to follow those signs. Those were just a couple more signs for me to maybe slow down and take a step back.”
And that step back could mean instead of yet another short-term deal or shot at training camp, Carcillo could be hanging up his skates to see what else is out there for him.
“I would say I’m about 98 percent ready to move on,” he said. “It’s a tough decision, but over the years, especially the last few, I’ve been thinking about it and preparing for it…I’m making the decision for myself to walk away.”
With the current NHL schedule and the recent birth of his son, Carcillo said the travel can be a bit much considering the type of father he wants to be.
Carcillo is currently working on launching a charitable organization, called Chapter 5, that will help professional athletes move on from sports. The ‘5’ in the name is a tribute to Montador, who wore the number several times throughout his career.
“In starting Chapter 5, it’s in turn going to help a lot of guys, but in turn hopefully help me move on the game and roll right into this,” he said. “In helping other guys, you help yourself. It’s kind of like staying around the game and staying around athletes. I think that’s a big part of helping to move on, is going to be not going cold turkey and staying around the game in any capacity you can.”