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Chicago Blackhawks’ Scott Darling Traded To Carolina For Draft Pick

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Apr 4, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Chicago Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling (33) during the second period against the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 4, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Chicago Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling (33) during the second period against the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Chicago Blackhawks engaged in some roster maneuvering Friday night, trading backup goaltender Scott Darling to the Carolina Hurricanes

The first player casualty of the 2017 offseason has hit the Chicago Blackhawks. General manager Stan Bowman on Friday night traded backup goaltender Scott Darling to the Carolina Hurricanes for a third-round draft pick in this year’s event.

Darling was an unrestricted free agent and expressed his desire to become a starter in the NHL. It was highly unlikely he’d be able to do so in Chicago, with Corey Crawford not giving up the net unless the Blackhawks decided to move his contract (to a Crow-approved team).

Darling joins a host of former Blackhawks who play for the Canes — Bryan Bickell (though he’s retiring), Joakim Nordstrom, Teuvo Teravainen and Klas Dahlbeck have all worn the Indian Head before.

Darling will have an opportunity to start in Carolina. Cam Ward’s time with the organization could be nearing its end, or Eddie Lack may not be the goaltender of the future the Canes were hoping for.

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Best of luck to Darling with his new team. The netminder was a good quote with the media and seemed like a genuinely good guy, and his performance in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs’ first round against Nashville was critical to the Blackhawks winning the Stanley Cup that season.

What it means for the Blackhawks

Well, my musings about who would serve as the backup goaltender in Chicago for the 2017-18 season proved to be justified. Crow will be backed up by somebody else for that campaign, and it’s no certainty who that is right now.

Jeff Glass, Lars Johansson and Mac Carruth are the three minor league guys closest to taking the job, and they’ll probably be given every opportunity to grab it. The Blackhawks could also scout out a low-cost backup during the offseason, but it seems likely they’d go the route of the lowest hit against the salary cap.

The return for this trade is actually really solid. The Blackhawks getting a draft pick in the event’s opening half for someone who wasn’t going to be with the team (unless Darling and the Blackhawks could come to terms) is a solid move by Bowman.

The Blackhawks love stockpiling their picks, and they really need to bolster the farm system through this upcoming draft.

Next: Blackhawks' 5 Most Interesting Offseason Questions

The move of Darling didn’t have as much to do with the Blackhawks’ early playoff exit as some future moves might. Darling simply put the Blackhawks in a tough spot by playing well and being a UFA. He did his job well, and now he gets a shot to be an NHL starter.

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