Former Blackhawks Goalie Scott Darling Gets Another Chance in NHL
By Jimmy Lynch
One former Chicago Blackhawks goalie is getting another crack in the NHL.
Scott Darling has been given a professional tryout contract with the Florida Panthers. After playing three seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks and posting a .923 save percentage, Darling signed a massive contract with the Carolina Hurricanes. However, things ended up not working out with the Hurricanes.
Darling hasn’t played in the NHL since the 2018-19 season when he played eight games for the Hurricanes. Since then, he has continued to play professional hockey, just not in the NHL. So the question remains why did the Panthers offer this former ‘Hawk a tryout?
Well, I definitely think who the coach is down in Florida might have played a factor in this decision. Chicago’s former head coach, Joel Quenneville, saw a lot of Scott Darling when Darling was with the Blackhawks, and he played some pretty good hockey at that time.
Plus, the Florida Panthers do not have that much depth at goalie. The Panthers have Sergei Bobrovsky and Chris Driedger at the NHL level, and adding Darling will add a little more depth at the position in case anyone gets hurt during a short season.
This move by the Panthers is one that I think offers only success, as either way they didn’t sign Darling yet, but if he does well, they can offer him a contract. This move impacts Chicago because the Panthers play in Chicago’s division.
Should the Panthers decide to keep Darling around, they will have a big goalie gearing up for them in net every few nights. Personally, I was hoping Chicago would consider offering Darling a tryout contract as the Panthers did. There is no risk in doing so, plus we already have three goalies vying for one starting spot. Why not make it four during an already confusing new season?
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The Panthers have two other former Blackhawks on their roster this season in Vinnie Hinostroza and Anthony Duclair, plus obviously, Quenneville is with the team. The Panthers are going to be a tough team in Chicago’s new division.