Saturday, April 29, 2017

NHL trade review: Scott Darling to Canes

     The Chicago Blackhawks have traded goalie Scott Darling to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for a third round pick in the 2017 NHL draft. Let's get into details.

      On July 1, Darling can become a UFA. The Hawks made a good move to get value from him before he likely leaves. Expect the Hawks to go after a goalie to backup starter Corey Crawford this offseason. After trading Darling, GM Stan Bowman thanked Darling for his tenure in Chicago, including a Stanley Cup win. "We could count on Scott in any situation as he was always reliable," Bowman told "We appreciate his contributions to the Blackhawks organization, including a Stanley Cup championship team. We wish him well as he continues he career in Carolina." Darling, 28, was drafted 153rd overall (6th round) of the 2007 NHL draft by the Phoenix (now Arizona) Coyotes. But he's only played in the NHL for the Hawks. This year, Darling had a 2.38 GAA and a .924 SV% in 32 games. He had a career 2.37 GAA and a SV% of .923 in 75 games.

       The Canes need goaltending. Their starter, Cam Ward had a 2.69 GAA and just a .905 SV% in 61 games this year. Their backup, Eddie Lack, had similar numbers this season, with a 2.64 GAA and a .902 SV% in 19 games. The only problem is that both Ward and Lack are under contract for next season. They owe Ward $3.3 million, and Lack $2.75 million. If the Canes sign Darling, then him and Ward will share the starting job. Lack would most likely be traded for late picks. Luckily for Carolina, both Lack and Ward will be free agents at the end of next season. That would make one of them easier to deal. Canes GM Ron Francis was happy to have Darling aboard. "Scott had a very successful season in Chicago and was a big part of the Blackhawks finishing with the best record in the Western conference. He played a critical role on Chicago's 2015 championship team," Francis said in a statement. The third rounder originally belonged to the Ottawa Senators, but was acquired by the Canes in a trade that sent LW Viktor Stalberg to Ottawa.

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