Bears

Blackhawks breakdown: Daniel Carcillo

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Blackhawks breakdown: Daniel Carcillo

CSNChicago.com Blackhawks Insider Tracey Myers and PGL host Chris Boden will evaluate the 2011-12 performance of each player on the Hawks roster. One breakdown will occur every weekday in numerical order.
In one hit on Edmonton Oilers defenseman Tom Gilbert on Jan. 2, Daniel Carcillo received a five-minute major penalty, seven-game suspension and torn ACL that ended his first season in Chicago after just 28 games. While he was on the ice (for an average of 11 minutes, 24 second per game), Carcillo scored two goals and had nine assists. He delivered 76 hits, sat i the penalty box for 82 minutes and fininshed plus-10.

Boden's take: Like Steve Montador, Carcillo's season can't truly be assessed outside of the 28 games he played. He started the season serving a suspension carried over from the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs, and earned two more sitdowns, including the play that eventually ended his season. As he shuffled between forward lines, he seemed at times to be trying to figure out the fine line between hard, clean play and a style that crept over "the edge." Sometimes it even seemed as though he was thinking whether to be more agitator or playmaker. When he found a comfort zone on the correct side of that line, he was good. Had he stayed healthy, he could have been useful in the playoff series against Phoenix. He's willing to dig in corners and protect the skill guys if he's on the top two lines.

Myers' take: Ah, Carbomb. When he was good, he was pretty good. And when he was bad he was suspended. Carcillo started the season where few expected him to: on a line with Marian Hossa and Patrick Kane. And for the most part, the experiment was a good one. Carcillo provided the protection for the Blackhawks stars and added a little offense of his own. But then there was that other side, the one that has led to 10 suspensions and fines, including three this season. Carcillos last was his most costly, both for the Blackhawks and him personally (seven games and a season-ending knee surgery).

2012-13 Expectations

Chris: Despite being sidelined with his major knee injury, the Blackhawks re-signed him to a two-year, 1.65 million deal, saying if they didn't, they'd be looking for a similar type of player on the market, anyway. He wasn't expected to begin skating for another couple of weeks after his January surgery. The play on which he was injured is a classic example of the quick decisions a player like him must make. He could have won the race to the puck behind the Oilers' net, but in my opinion, chose to slow down to make the physical (and illegal) play on Gilbert.

We know what he's capable of doing from a hell-raising standpoint. If he finds himself too often on the wrong side of discipline, the Blackhawks need to be much better penalty killers than this past season. He doesn't have to do his best Matt Cooke impression and go almost completely choirboy (the Penguin had a career-high 19 goals, but a career-low 44 penalty minutes after 129 and multiple suspensions the year before), but just find a way to play his game, and remain in the lineup.

Tracey: The Blackhawks gave Carcillo a two-year extension because they liked his edge. Now he needs to play on the right side of it a lot more often. His past is what it is, and the suspension lengths will only keep going up if he keeps getting into trouble. Guys like Cooke have shown they can clean up and be a strong -- and still edgy -- contributor to their teams. Carcillo has to do the same.

How do you feel about this evaluation? As always, be sure to chime in with your thoughts by commenting below and check out some of Carcillo's highlights above.

Previously: Duncan Keith, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Steve Montador, Sean O'Donnell, Brent Seabrook, Nick Leddy, Patrick Sharp

Up next: Andrew Brunette

Is Matt Forte pushing for a coaching job with the Bears?

Is Matt Forte pushing for a coaching job with the Bears?

Is former Bears star Matt Forte going to be the team’s new running backs coach?

For now, that’s Charles London’s job, who was hired to head coach Matt Nagy’s staff earlier this year.

But on Tuesday night, Forte tweeted that he would like a coaching spot with Chicago sometime in the near future.

Serving as evidence, the now-retired running back responded to a tweet from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, which announced the Broncos’ hiring of former linebacker Demarcus Ware as a “pass-rush consultant on a part-time basis.” Forte tweeted at the Bears, saying that he is “available” to take on a similar role to Ware’s new Denver gig.

Forte’s tweet was relatively cryptic, and he never specified exactly what type of job he would want with the Bears. After finishing up a storied career this past season and solidifying his name as a Bears legend, Forte has proven that he could easily coach young running backs or even wide receivers at some point.

But isn’t this all just a joke?

Forte silenced the doubters by tweeting “I wasn’t joking” as a response to an article saying that his desire for a new occupation with the Bears was simply a gag. The former workhorse was also intrigued by a fan’s tweet asking “Coach Forte??”

The mere thought of having Forte back in Chicago with the Bears’ coaching staff sent fans on Twitter into a frenzy. In April, Forte came back to Halas Hall to ink his name on a one-day contract, successfully allowing him to retire as a Bear. Now, Forte wants a lengthier stay in the Windy City.

Ware’s role with Denver is not extensive by any means and, according to Schefter, he will work a pretty scattered schedule with Broncos players. What Forte’s role would look like with the Bears is completely unknown if his plan to coach becomes a reality.

Forte has the running back credentials to take on a coaching position. In eight seasons with the Bears, Forte racked up a combined 8,602 rushing yards, second to only the great Walter Payton. Forte’s 4,116 receiving yards as a running back, 12,718 yards from scrimmage, 24 games with 100 rushing yards and 25 games with at least 150 yards from scrimmage also ranks second behind Payton.

Maybe this will be a new development in Chicago’s offseason plans, but there is no real talk of bringing one of the team’s all-time leading rushers back to the team as of right now.

Last month, NBC Sports Chicago announced Forte will be joining the network as a Bears game day studio analyst for the upcoming 2018 NFL season. And we're not joking about that.

Brandon Morrow lands on DL after hurting back while taking his pants off

Brandon Morrow lands on DL after hurting back while taking his pants off

Remember that one time Sammy Sosa threw out his back while sneezing? Well, Brandon Morrow may have topped that on the Cubs all-time list of wacky injuries.

The 33-year-old closer was placed on the 10-day disabled list prior to Wednesday's game after hurting his back while taking his pants off upon returning from the team's road trip to St. Louis. It's being labeled as "lower back tightness."

"It's frustrating any time you can't get out there, and especially when you can't go because of something stupid like taking your pants off," Morrow told reporters on Tuesday.

And that's put the Cubs pitching staff in a tough spot for the rest of the week, given Wednesday's series finale against the Dodgers is the third game in a little more than 24 hours for the Cubs.

"I don't want to downplay anything," Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said. "Obviously he had back spams, he had the same thing in spring training. We'll start treating it the same way we did in spring training; I think he was out about a week to 10 days. If things go as we hope, I think it'd be the kind of thing where he'd probably be able to be throwing before the 10 days is up.

"But we felt like it wasn't going to be something where he was ready this weekend and if he's not going to be ready all weekend, we can already backdate it three days so it made sense to put him on the DL."

Morrow is tied for fifth in the National League with 16 saves and owns a 1.59 ERA is 26 relief appearances this season. Justin Hancock, who served as the 26th man during Tuesday's doubleheader, stayed with the team as a result.