The Chicago Blackhawks have traded away Scott Darling, sending him to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for a third round draft pick. Considering Darling is a pending UFA, the Hurricanes are receiving his negotiation rights.
Chicago Blackhawks Trade Away Scott Darling
Darling, 28, was drafted in the sixth round of the 2007 draft by the then Phoenix Coyotes. He didn’t make his NHL debut for seven years though and it wasn’t with the Coyotes. He signed with the Blackhawks in 2014, after two seasons in the American Hockey League and many more in lesser leagues. The unheard of goalie made his debut the season after, playing in 14 games and winning nine of them.
Since then, Darling has totaled 75 NHL games and has a record of 39-17-9. In the 2016-17 season alone, he played in 39 games and came out with a record of 18-5-5. He had a save percentage of .924.
He has looked good backing up Corey Crawford for the Hawks. Now he’s likely moving on to the Hurricanes, where he’ll battle with the struggling Eddie Lack to be the backup for Cam Ward. If he signs with Carolina, Darling will be placed in a much better opportunity than he was in with the Blackhawks. With Ward aging and becoming less consistent, the team will be looking for a backup goalie to gradually play more and more as the seasons go on. There’s a chance that, if he proves himself enough, Darling could even be placed into a starting role.
The Blackhwaks are now in an awkward position. Chicago does not have an NHL ready netminder behind Corey Crawford, with only journeyman Jeff Glass under contract. They’ll likely sign one of the many goalies who are set to become UFAs. Amongst them are many promising backups, including Peter Budaj, Anders Nilsson, and Jhonas Enroth.
They could trade for a goalie just as easily and it could probably be more effective. Having a young goalie to backup the 32 year old Crawford could add some stability and certainty to a slowly aging team. Needless to say, this move has proved that the Blackhawks offseason will be an interesting one with many moving parts.