Scott Darling Acquired By The Carolina Hurricanes
The Carolina Hurricanes have announced the acquisition of goaltender Scott Darling from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for a 3rd-round draft pick. The pick is from the Ottawa Senators, which they acquired in the Viktor Stalberg trade earlier in the season.
— Carolina Hurricanes (@NHLCanes) April 28, 2017
The Hurricanes will now attempt to sign Darling before July 1st, when he is set to become an unrestricted free agent. Carolina has exclusive negotiating rights.
Cam Ward and Eddie Lack are still under contract for one more season, but this move likely spells the end for at least one of them. Ward is set to make $3.3M, and Lack will bring in $2.75M in 2017-18. With the expansion draft looming, Darling will presumably be the goaltender that they choose to protect.
Scott Darling is coming off an exceptional season in which he appeared in 32 games, posting an 18-5-5 record, with a 2.37 goals-against-average, and .923 save percentage. He will be seeking a significant upgrade over the $575,000 contract he earned this season.
Hurricanes head coach Bill Peters was quite vocal in his criticism of the team’s goaltending this season. He publicly ripped Eddie Lack to the media in March:
“Eddie has played 10 games and was poor in his last outing, let’s not kid ourselves, right? There were 16 shots, four went in. Not good enough. You look at his numbers in the league, they’re not good enough.”
“That’s a little bit honest, eh? I just looked it up. You look up any goalie who has played 10 games in the National Hockey League and the top 60 in save percentage, I know who’s 60. There’s 30 teams. Not good enough.”
Goaltending coach David Marcoux was also let go at the end of the season, so the goaltending situation is certainly one to keep an eye on as we enter the offseason. Signing Darling is not a sure thing, but the 3rd-round pick that was given to the Blackhawks is guaranteed. The pressure is now on GM Ron Francis to get a deal done with the 6-foot-6 netminder.