Daniel Carcillo laid this ridiculously illegal hit on Tom Gilbert last night in the second period of the Oilers 4-3 win over the Blackhawks in Chicago. Hawks play-by-play man Pat Foley immediately said that Carcillo would be suspended for the hit, and he's right. This isn't a gray area by any means, even Blackhawk fans were outraged by Carcillo's actions.
Carcillo will get a call from Brendan Shanahan tomorrow, but it's more likely that the call will be an invitation to an in-person hearing on the hit. That invitation will allow the Shanahammer to suspend Carcillo for more than five games. This is Carcillo's second incident in two months, as Shanahan suspended him for two games for this hit on Joni Pitkanen:
The Gilbert hit makes him a repeat offender and Shanahan hasn't gone easy on repeat offender. Fortunately, we don't have much in the way of frame of reference for this particular type of hit, but given the ludicrous nature of the hit and the fact that Carcillo is a repeat offender, my guess is six games. It's not enough in my opinion.
Given the way Gilbert's knee is wrenched after his skate catches the ice below him, I wouldn't be surprised if he was out for awhile. It's an enormous blow to the Oilers -- Gilbert has been the team MVP to this point and his absence from the lineup for any period of time will send the Oilers even lower in the standings. There aren't many players in the world that can log the difficult ice time Gilbert's been asked to play, let alone worthy candidates in the organization. We can only hope Gilbert enjoys a speedy recovery.