The Carolina Hurricanes pulled the plug on their patience with Scott Darling by placing him on waivers Thursday, according to TSN. The former Blackhawks goaltender is in the second year of a four-year, $16.6 million contract he signed with the Hurricanes after being traded in 2017.
Darling, who turns 30 in late December, has struggled to replicate the success he had in Chicago since signing long-term in Carolina. He posted a .892 save percentage in seven appearances this season, which came after he put up a .888 save percentage in 43 appearances last season. Overall, that’s a .889 save percentage during his time with the Hurricanes, which doesn’t come anywhere close to cutting it.
The other 30 NHL teams will now have the chance to claim the remainder of Darling’s contract off waivers, otherwise he will likely be assigned to the Hurricanes’ AHL affiliate. The goaltender is set to have a $4.15 million cap hit through the 2020-21, per Cap Friendly, although there is some good news for a potential landing place – his front-loaded deal pays just $7.1 million during the final two seasons.
Darling became one of the best stories during the Blackhawks’ 2015 Stanley Cup run when he emerged as the backup to Corey Crawford. His performance in the first round of the playoffs against the Predators helped Crawford get right for the remainder of that playoff run. In the regular season, Darling was similarly stellar with a .923 save percentage in 75 games with the Hawks, which explains why the Hurricanes took a chance on him as their starter.