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Scott Darling Chicago Blackhawks’ Nominee for Masterton Trophy

By Melissa Peterson
Mar 30, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling (33) and defenseman Kimmo Timonen (44) celebrate their win at the United Center. The Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Los Angeles Kings 4-1. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 30, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling (33) and defenseman Kimmo Timonen (44) celebrate their win at the United Center. The Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Los Angeles Kings 4-1. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports /
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In a maybe not-so-surprising move, the Chicago PHWA (Chicago Pro Hockey Writers Association) chapter nominated Scott Darling for the Masterton Trophy.

The Masterton Trophy is an award given to players that demonstrate dedication and perseverance in hockey. Each season, every one of the 30 teams nominate one player from their roster for the award.

Last season’s winner was Dominic Moore of the New York Rangers, who returned to the NHL in the after taking an 18-month leave of absence from the league to care for his wife after she had been diagnosed with a rare form of liver cancer.

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For those of you who aren’t aware, Darling has had a long battle to get into the league. He has made public his struggles with alcohol and social anxiety, and being relieved from different clubs came as a result of decline in performance from this addiction. Darling had been bounced from the SPHL, the CHL and the ECHL when he was finally given a chance in the AHL with the Rockford IceHogs when he landed a two-way deal. Not only has he bounced back from that, but he boasts a pretty impressive 94.68% Save percentage over 12 games playing for the Blackhawks, including a shutout against the New York Rangers at MSG on March 8th.

Some had wondered if the nomination would go to recent acquisition Kimmo Timonen, who, after playing in the NHL for 15 seasons, hadn’t played a game all season until shortly after the trade deadline due to blood clots in his legs and lungs. He was cleared for play and started in his first 2014-15 season game on March 2nd against the Carolina Hurricanes.

I can almost say with certainty that Timonen  would have gotten the nomination had he stayed in Philadelphia. It really wouldn’t have been surprising to see Timonen get the nomination for CHI, especially considering he is supposed to retire at the end of this year, and  Tracey Meyers of CSN said his name was considered, but the nomination was ultimately given to Darling.

What do you think of the choice?

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