Will Caps counter Penguins' signing of Carcillo?

Will Caps counter Penguins' signing of Carcillo?
September 4, 2014, 4:15 pm
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In case you missed it, the Penguins gave you another reason to hate them earlier today when they signed ornery forward Dan Carcillo to a professional tryout contract.

Carcillo, 29, is one of those players teammates love to have and hate to play against. Just ask the Rangers and Flyers, a pair of Metropolitan Division rivals who faced each other in the first round of last year’s playoffs.

Carcillo, who played parts of three seasons in Philly from 2009-11, helped eliminate his former team last spring when he scored a third-period goal in Game 3 to give the Rangers a 2-1 series lead. Carcillo celebrated by taunting the Philly fans who had booed him earlier.

He later was suspended 10 games for shoving an NHL linesman and had the suspension reduced to six games.

Carcillo was drafted by Pittsburgh in the third round [73rd overall] of the 2003 draft and played two seasons with the Penguins' AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

In parts of nine NHL seasons with the Coyotes, Flyers, Blackhawks, Kings and Rangers, Carcillo has 44 goals, 48 assists, 92 points and 1,179 penalty minutes. He also has seven goals, seven assists and 97 penalty minutes in 45 playoff games and won a Stanley Cup ring with the 2013 Blackhawks.

Carcillo has also played in three of the past five Stanley Cup Finals; 2014 with the Rangers, 2013 with Chicago and 2010 with Philadelphia.

If Carcillo can make the Penguins out of training camp, they’ll boast two of the NHL’s most agitating players in Carcillo and Steve Downie, who signed with the Pens over the summer and has a close relationship with new Penguins assistant coach Rick Tocchet, who replaced new Capitals assistant coach Todd Reirden.

Today’s signing presents an interesting question for Caps fans. With Tom Wilson [151 penalty minutes] recovering from offseason ankle surgery, do the Caps have enough of a physical presence heading into the 2014-15 season?

Wilson led the Caps in fighting majors last season with 14, followed by Aaron Volpatti [5], Troy Brouwer [4], Steve Oleksy [3], John Erskine [2], Michael Latta [2], Tyson Strachan [2 each], Connor Carrick [1], Patrick Wey [1], Alexander Urbom [1] and Braden Holtby [1].

The Caps reportedly had discussions with free-agent enforcer Paul Bissonnette [3 fighting majors] earlier this summer but did not sign him to a contract.  So, again, are the Caps tough enough without making any roster moves?

[RELATED: Life after the Caps: Brendan Witt]