CHICAGO – In a memorable era of Blackhawks hockey, he was one of the team’s best stories.
A native of Lemont, Scott Darling worked his way back from struggles with alcoholism in his early playing days to becoming a part of a Stanley Cup winning team with his hometown Blackhawks in 2015.
After this season, his third as a backup, the Blackhawks traded Darling to the Carolina Hurricanes just as he was about to leave for a starting job.
Before taking the ice for the Hurricanes for the first time, Darling decided to say goodbye to loyal Blackhawks fans with a story in “The Players’ Tribune.”
In an article titled “Goodbye Chicago,” Darling not only thanks fans for their support but also goes into detail about his heavy drinking early in his career.
“The thing about alcoholism is that you never think you have a problem,” Darling wrote. “That’s how it gets you. Because it always starts small. For me, it started as a way to cope with social anxiety. Ever since I was a kid, I kind of lived inside my own brain. I was an introvert, and I was so worried about what everyone thought about me at all times.”
Darling also said he’ll always be grateful for the opportunity he had with the Blackhawks:
“It was amazing to represent my city and play for my favorite team. Top to bottom that organization is filled with amazing people. They all treated me like I belonged. The front office was great to me, my coaches were amazing to me and treated me like an NHL goalie. That may sound funny coming from me, but it took me a while to stop thinking that everyone looked at me like a random SPHL guy. I made so many great friends on the team, the p.r. team, the training staff, the equipment guys … I could go on for days.”