After acquiring him from the Chicago Blackhawks on April 29, the Hurricanes signed Darling to a four-year deal on Friday. It’s a $16.6 million contract, with an average cap hit of $4.15 million.
“Obviously Scott could have waited until July 1, to see what other options he might have as an unrestricted free agent,” said Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes “But he believes in what we are trying to do here and we are thrilled that he is committing to the Hurricanes and to Raleigh.”
Darling, 28, was acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks on April 29 in exchange for Ottawa’s third-round selection in the 2017 NHL Draft. Born in Newport News, VA, but raised in Lamont, IL, he went 18-5-5, with a 2.38 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage in 32 games played for Chicago in 2016-17. Darling recorded the decision in each of his career-high 27 starts (18-5-4) for the Blackhawks, with his lone non-start decision coming as an overtime loss on March 21 against Vancouver after he entered a 4-1 game just moments into the third period. Darling’s .924 save percentage in 2016-17 ranked tied for fourth among all NHL goaltenders who started more than 25 games.
The Hurricanes were 18th in the NHL in goals-against average (2.80) but they were 27th in team save percentage at .901.
Carolina now has three goalies under contract: Veteran mainstay Cam Ward ($3.30 million cap hit) and Eddie Lack, 29, set to make $2.75 million against the cap in 2017-18. They’re both eligible to be selected in the expansion draft.
Solid contract for Darling, who has earned the right to be the man for a team like Carolina. And what a journey it’s been.
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