A week after being traded to the Carolina Hurricanes, Scott Darling has agreed to a four-year contract extension worth an annual average of $4.15 million. That’s quite the pay raise for the former Chicago back-up who made a whopping $587,500 this past season. Darling, 28, spent most of the past two season playing second fiddle to Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford. In twenty-seven games started this past season Darling posted eighteen wins, a goals against average of 2.38, and a .924 save percentage. Although, it was a small sampling size, Darling posted better numbers than both goalies that Carolina has under contract for the next season.
Obviously Carolina General Manager Ron Francis saw something in the 6’6 Darling. Darling was slated to become an unrestricted free agent(UFA) come July, but Francis sent a third round pick in the upcoming draft to Chicago in order to have exclusive negotiating rights with Darling. With Darling signed for next season, look for the Hurricanes to begin shopping current goalies Eddie Lack and Cam Ward, who does have a modified no trade clause. Another option is to leave Lack unprotected in the upcoming expansion draft and hope that Vegas selects him.
I think Scott Darling will flourish with Carolina. Some Chicago fans would have rather seen the incumbent goalie Corey Crawford dealt, instead of the Illinois native Darling. In my eyes he’s shown that he can be a number one goalie in this league and he could be the missing piece to a Carolina team on the verge of the playoffs.