Dan Carcillo (Photo by Bill Smith / Getty Images)
It's going to take more than a five- or six-game suspension to teach Daniel Carcillo that it's not a 'hockey play' to viciously cross-check an unsuspecting opponent. It's time for NHL Player Safety to teach him a lesson before he becomes the next Matt Cooke.Chicago Blackhawks forward Daniel Carcillo needs to rethink his definition of a "hockey play." The unrepentant on-ice cannon ball will meet with the league soon to learn his punishment for a dirty cross-check on Winnipeg Jets forward Mathieu Perreault. The in-person hearing allows for a suspension of five games or more, so it likely won't be a slap on the wrist. But so long as Carcillo considers that the cost of doing business, we're bound to see him called to the carpet again for more reckless and injury-inflicting plays in the future. Carcillo injured Perreault with what Jets coach Paul Maurice called a “vicious” cross-check to the left arm in a game on Friday. With 10 seconds left in the period, Perreault chopped Hawks defender Duncan Keith's stick out of his hands in the Chicago zone. The referee's hand went up to call the penalty, but Carcillo decided to exact his own justice first. He skated in on Perreault when the Jets player's back was turned and delivered a hard cross-check to his left arm and back. The Vine video pretty much says it all. Perreault went down immediately and was favouring his left arm as he was helped off the ice. He didn't return to the game and word is he'll be out until at least the All-Star break. The 29-year-old Carcillo - with four goals and seven points this season - effectively knocked out one of the Jets' hottest scorers for more than a week. Perreault was riding a six-game, nine-point hot streak before the injury, and has 15 goals and 29 points this season. Now he'll be watching from the sidelines beginning with the Jets' game against the Coyotes on Sunday. Carcillo had nothing but the typical excuses to trot out for reporters the day after the hit. He called the blow "a hockey play." He said he'd been on the ice for a long time and felt "pretty tired." He said he had no malicious intent when he delivered the blow, and probably caught Perreault between the pads through some fluke. Right. Carcillo's words show he simply doesn't get it. Slamming your stick across an opponent's arm - an opponent who is looking away and who doesn't have the puck - is not a hockey play. It's an illegal check, and Carcillo got a penalty for it. It's also a dangerous check, and Carcillo will be punished for it. But punishment seems not to change Carcillo's ways. The man they call 'Car Bomb' has a long rap sheet filled with suspensions and fines. The latest was an automatic 10-game suspension for physical abuse of an official during the New York Rangers’ run to the Stanley Cup final in 2014. Carcillo appealed that suspension and managed to get it cut down to six games. But he's done more than just rough up refs. 'Car Bomb' is a reckless player with a history of delivering dangerous, injurious hits. He was suspended twice in the 2011-12 season for a hit from behind (two games) and boarding (seven games). Both plays involved Carcillo throwing his opponent into the boards in races for the puck behind the net. He received two other suspensions during the 2009-10 season -- one for a sucker-punch (four games) and one for delivering a cross-check to the face (two games). The year before that, Carcillo received a two-game suspension for an altercation with Ben Eager on the bench, and sat one game for a head shot on Max Talbot. And the list goes back farther than that. Carcillo’s transgressions are entering Matt Cooke-Raffi Torres territory, and if those guys have shown us one thing, it's that single-digit suspensions don't get results. The league has to throw the book at these repeat offenders to make the message stick. Matt Cooke reined in his game for a few years after a lengthy suspension with the Penguins that saw him miss 10 regular season games and the first round of the 2011 playoffs. How long does Carcillo need to sit before he starts caring about the consequences of his actions? How many instructional videos will it take for him to differentiate between a "hockey play" and an attempt to injure?