June 3, 2014 2:05 pm

Suspension reduced, Carcillo eligible to face ex-teammates

Though Daniel Carcillo was a King for only 26 games this season, his relationship stretches far past the time he spent wearing black and white. A Philadelphia teammate of Mike Richards and Jeff Carter when the Flyers challenged the Chicago Blackhawks for the 2010 Stanley Cup, Carcillo had been in contact with several of his friends and ex-teammates – until a change of circumstance brought about a reasonable halt to the discussion.

“There’s not much communication during the playoffs,” he said. “There was a little bit before between the first three rounds, but I don’t expect too much now, if any.”

It was learned earlier today that Carcillo successfully appealed for a reduction of his suspension for making contact with linesman Scott Driscoll in Game 3 against the Montreal Canadiens on May 22. Reduced from 10 games to six games, he’ll be eligible to return to the lineup for Game 4 at Madison Square Garden.

“It gives you a little hope,” Carcillo said. “10 games doesn’t give you much hope, but this definitely puts a little jump in your step. Hopefully the team doesn’t need me to come back, but you always have to be prepared.”

The January 4 trade to New York for a seventh round pick has worked out well for the hard nosed winger, who noted “It looks like I would’ve been in the Cup Final anyway.”

“I was very surprised about the trade. I was just driving home and then got the call. Derek [Dorsett] went down, and they seemed to need someone who played the same game as him, and I came in and stepped in and the team went on a pretty good run, and obviously we’re on a great run here. Hopefully we can finish the job.”

Though the playing time didn’t consistently materialize in his time in Los Angeles, he enjoyed the camaraderie and the feeling amongst the players.

“The guys were awesome in the room,” he said. “To go from a room like that to a room like this – I’ve never really been around a room like this where it’s just so much fun. Everyone’s so close, everyone hangs out with each other. It’s actually fun to go to the rink in New York, and when it’s time to work, it’s time to work, and everyone puts their head down and does the work. We wouldn’t be at this point if that wasn’t the case. So coming back here, somewhere else, it really doesn’t matter for me.”

On whether he’ll provide information to the Rangers on his former teammates:
Yeah, obviously we talk about personnel, which I’m sure they’re going to do, too, the different types of players. I’ve played with a few of these guys, well, maybe all of them for a short period of time – but a couple of them for a number of years. Just share what I can on them, their tendencies. But at this point, I think even though the two teams aren’t too familiar with each other, I think everyone has been watching, and everyone knows what they bring. They’re big, they’re well-coached and they’re very structured, so it’s going to be a good challenge.

On having his suspension reduced:
I respect the league’s decision and how they came to a decision. I’m just happy I was able to say my piece and be a part of it and say my side of the story, and I think he took it into account. Gary was great, the league was great. Everyone who represented me, I thinked them very much this morning. I’m just looking to move forward and get these three games out of the way and just stay focused.

On his team making it to the Stanley Cup Final three times in five years:
Yeah, I mean, I can’t really speak to that. A couple people have mentioned it. I think I’ve just been very lucky maybe to have a small role in it with the role that I play, and teams like to have guys like me and Derek down the stretch and hard-nosed players. But for the most part I think it’s a little bit of luck.

On whether six games is a fair length of time for his suspension:
I respect the league’s decision. Gary called me this morning, and that he dropped the category down, which is what I felt should’ve happened. The bottom line is it’s an emotional time of the game, and I’m an emotional player, and sometimes you cross that line. Obviously regardless of whether it was an accident or not, you can’t hit an official, and I know I was wrong, and I apologize and own up to my part of it. But like I said before, I respect the league’s decision.

On whether he felt that the official started the altercation:
Yeah, I’m not going to go there.

On his response when it was first announced that the suspension would be reduced:
It’s awesome. It puts a little jump in your step. Kind of a bid of a dead man walking there, the last week and a half, so to hear that this morning as soon as you wake up, it just gives you a little boost, a little energy, and just to be able around the guys in three games will be great. I’m just really encouraged, and like I said, hopefully they don’t need me, but it’s nice to be able to be around the guys again.

On advice to players who haven’t played in the Stanley Cup Final:
‘I think the biggest thing is just to dumb down the distractions and everyone and their mother comes out and texts you and all of a sudden you’re hearing from people that you haven’t heard from in four years. You’ve just got to put those distractions on the back burner and just take it for what it is. We all play for this. This is what we battle for for three rounds and 82 games. To finally be here, you just try your best to live in the moment and play each game. There’s a lot on the line, but at the end of the day, it’s just a hockey game. I think guys in our room have a really good head on their shoulders, and we’ve been able to do that in some high pressure games, and so have they, so I think it’s a good match-up.

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