Blackhawks News

Chicago Blackhawks: The Daniel Carcillo Story (Part II: Steve Montador)

By Samuel Boland
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 18: Daniel Carcillo #13 of the Chicago Blackhawks looks across the ice during the NHL game against the Nashville Predators on October 18, 2014 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 18: Daniel Carcillo #13 of the Chicago Blackhawks looks across the ice during the NHL game against the Nashville Predators on October 18, 2014 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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Carcillo After Montador

Daniel himself fell into a deep lull after the passing of his close friend Steve Montador. He was dealing with a concussion at the time, and described himself as being in a “dark, dark place” in Gone, an interview and article he did with the Players Tribune.

Carcillo was not himself for a long time, but was supported by people close to him. When recalling that time, Daniel said two people consistently reached out to him: Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp. “It meant a lot to be in such a dark place emotionally and then to have them, you know, care… Those are guys Monty would have loved to have in his life.”

Carcillo fought through the remainder of the 2015 season, which ended in the Blackhawks third Cup in six years, and retired afterwards on his own terms. However, Carcillo had bigger plans than rest and relaxation for his retirement. In “The Fourth Period” he said “I knew that I wanted to create a foundation that would honor Monty’s legacy and help guys who were struggling to find a new identity after hockey.”

Post-Hockey Daniel

Unfortunately, Carcillo’s history of TBIs had other plans for him, “That fall, when the new season started, I went through the same dark cycle that I witnessed firsthand with Monty. I went in with my eyes completely open, but I just couldn’t stop it. I started isolating myself. I felt like I didn’t have a purpose. I fell into a deep and dark depression. Most days, I got out of bed at one p.m.”

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Like so many other players before him, Daniel found himself in a dark place and saw no way out. Because of his concussion and the lingering symptoms, he self medicated for quite some time. Carcillo even felt stressed out and overcome with anxiety when attending a birthday party for former teammate Andrew Desjardins’ son.

Fortunately, that party did not go as Carcillo feared it might. Jonathan Toews was there. Brent Seabrook was there. Not only was he surrounded by guys he cared about, he was surrounded by guys who genuinely cared about him. They asked him questions and sincerely made sure he was doing alright. Daniel describes it, saying “Seeing them made me feel O.K. again.”

Eventually, his son saw what he was going through. One day when Daniel looked in his eyes, he could tell that his son was judging him. The very next day, Carcillo left to get help in California, stopped self medicating, and dealt with his grief and loss. 

He didn’t stop there, though.

Next: Chicago Blackhawks’ Defenseman Search And Trade Dynamics

The story continues tomorrow.

ICYMI PART I:

"The Daniel Carcillo Story (Part I: The Road To The NHL)"

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