Former Hawks goalie Darling asks Hurricanes for leave of absence
Former Blackhawks goaltender Scott Darling asked the Carolina Hurricanes for a personal leave of absence Sunday.
Carolina GM Don Waddell told the Charlotte Observer that Darling "needs to regroup, basically."
Hawks goalie Cam Ward, who played with Darling last season, was told the news by reporters after his team's 5-2 victory over Detroit at the United Center on Sunday.
"I didn't know that," Ward said. "Thank you for sharing. I will reach out to him."
Darling overcame a severe drinking problem, then helped the Hawks win the Stanley Cup in 2015. He signed a four-year, $16.6 million contract with Carolina after the Hawks traded him for a third-round draft pick on April 28, 2017.
Darling went 13-21-7 last season and was 2-4-2 with an .884 save percentage and 3.34 goals-against average this season. Carolina assigned Darling to Charlotte in late November, brought him back for one game and then sent him back to the AHL.
He was just 5-6-0 with an .882 save percentage and 3.40 GAA with the Checkers.
"Since he's been down there he's had some good games and some bad games," Waddell said. "He had a tough game the other night and his agent called me and said he would like to take a personal leave of absence and would we allow that to get his mind back together."
Carolina will continue to support Darling "100 percent," according to Waddell.
"We all know he's had ups and downs in his career, and we'll be supportive," Waddell said. "He's still under contract for two more years and we've got to see if we can get this thing back together."
Ward on a roll:
Cam Ward made 43 saves in the Blackhawks' 5-2 victory over Detroit on Sunday and ran his personal winning streak to four straight games. He is also 7-3-0 since Corey Crawford was injured against San Jose on Dec. 16.
"I'm seeing the puck real well," Ward said. "Today, I think I had a few more rebounds that I like, but I thought our guys competed and battled in front of me to clear those rebounds and made those clears.
"As a group we're just playing much better. We're not giving up as much as we were the first half of the year and in turn it gets us a better result at the end."
Jeremy Colliton believes Corey Crawford did not have any setbacks after practicing Saturday. "Move on to the next one," Colliton said. "Hopefully he can string a few more good ones together. … Alex DeBrincat (3 assists) extended his point streak to eight games in the Hawks' 5-2 win over Detroit. ... John Hayden led the Hawks with 5 hits against Detroit. Dylan Strome had a game-high 4 takeaways. Nobody else had more than 1. … The Hawks placed defenseman Luc Snuggerud on unconditional waivers Sunday. He has played in just four games this season for Rockford while battling injuries. The Hawks selected Snuggerud in the fifth round of the 2014 draft.
He said it:
"I check the standings, yes. We know where we're at and what we need to do. With that being said, you control what you can control and that's how you perform and how you prepare and the guys are doing the right job right now."
-- Cam Ward