It looks like the struggles of goaltender Scott Darling aren’t ending anytime soon. Carolina Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell said that the goaltender, currently with the Charlotte Checkers in the AHL, has taken a “personal leave of absence,” and has asked for some time off through his agent, according to News & Observer’s Chip Alexander.
Darling “from a mental standpoint needs to regroup, basically,” said Waddell.
Darling’s career has gone downhill ever since he was acquired back in the summer of 2017 in a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks when Darling was one of the top backups in the league when he posted a 2.38 GAA and a .924 save percentage for a dominant Blackhawks’ squad. He was brought in to be the team’s No. 1 goaltender and rewarded with a four-year, $16.6MM contract, but he struggled right out of the gate and finished the 2017-18 season with a 3.18 GAA and a .888 save percentage in 43 games, eventually losing his job to Cam Ward.
Despite that rough season, Darling was reportedly working hard during the offseason to regain his form and came into camp in great shape. However, he didn’t fare any better and failed to get his career back track, putting up a 3.34 GAA and an .884 save percentage in eight games before the team placed him on waivers on Nov. 29, sending him to Charlotte. The 30-year-old has struggled there as well. In 14 games with the Checkers, he has a 3.40 GAA and an .882 save percentage.