Oh My Darling
The newest member of the Carolina Hurricanes made the rounds on the media circuit this week, capping it off with a visit to PNC Arena on Wednesday to meet the local media in person. Hear what he had to say about the trade and his contract decision, how he expects to contribute in his new role, and his plans for making himself part of the team and community.
Before that, Darling burned up the phone lines with call-in interviews with David Glenn [starts 23:00 mark], Adam and Joe [WRALSportsFan], Power Play with Scott Laughlin and Patrick O’Sullivan [SiriusXM NHL], and the NHL Now crew on NHL Network:
Brett Finger weighed in earlier with his thoughts on what to expect from Darling in his new role. Here’s more analysis from around the league:
- Our SB Nation Blackhawks counterparts say Scott Darling has found an ideal landing place that will give him a chance to shine [Second City Hockey].
- Scott Cullen takes a look at the numbers, and Statistically Speaking, Darling is worth the chance the Canes are taking [TSN].
- Could Darling be the next Cam Talbot? [FanRag Sports] Of note, FanRag has an interesting notion about where Chicago might find their backup replacement, mentioning a good standing relationship between Blackhawks and Canes management.
- Pat Clarke is a bit more tempered in his scouting report, with great visual examples of Darling’s style in the crease [Section 328].
- Dobber gives the fantasy outlook [Dobber Hockey].
- All are different ways to say the same thing: consensus is that Scott Darling and the Carolina Hurricanes are a good fit all around [NSJ] [N&O - 1] [N&O - 2] [NHL.com] [Daily Herald] [CSN Chicago].
- If you’ve read this far, I saved the best for last. Definitely give Kevin Woodley’s feature a read, it’s a wonderful recount of Darling’s inspiring journey to a well-deserved opportunity [InGoal Magazine].
What a Wonderful Worlds
Scott Darling isn’t the only Hurricane making headlines at the moment. Over in Europe, several Canes are finding the top of the stats sheet at the IIHF World Championship. Finland and USA have the day off; Canada and Sweden will take the ice later this afternoon.
- “It doesn’t bother us that he’s a well kept secret. We know how good he is and what his potential is,” says Jeff Skinner about teammate Sebastian Aho, who is looking to raise his profile as he enters his second NHL season [NHL.com].
- Skinner is enjoying Paris, and enjoying a seven point performance in his first three games (3g, 4a). He joined Michael Smith via Skype on Wednesday to talk about it:
- Meanwhile, commissioner Gary Bettman is doubling down on his stance that the NHL won’t participate in the 2018 Olympics [NBC Sports]...
- Which doesn’t sit well with the Hurricanes players, who want a shot to represent their countries in PyeongChang [N&O].
Down on the Farm
For the first time since 2012, the Saint John Sea Dogs have won the 2017 QMJHL President Cup. Canes prospect Spencer Smallman scored two goals in a 4-1 win over Blainville-Boisbriand Armada Wednesday to clinch the series. The Sea Dogs were without Julien Gauthier, who was serving a two-game suspension for an illegal hit to the head. Gauthier will be eligible to play in the upcoming Memorial Cup, which begins May 19 against the hosting Windsor Spitfire. The Sea Dogs are favored in the tournament thanks to a stellar performance from Callum Booth, who was recently named CHL Goaltender of the Week.
Booth finished the QMJHL playoffs with a 16-2 record, 1.67 GAA, .923 Save %.— Canes Prospects (@CanesProspects) May 11, 2017
Not to be outdone, Warren Foegele is tearing it up in the OHL with the Erie Otters, with a five-point (and a hat trick) performance in a win Wednesday against the Mississauga Steelheads. This comes after Foegele was already named the OHL Player of the Week after scoring two goals in two games earlier in the series. Foegele’s Otters are one win away from their ticket to the Memorial Cup.
Guess Who’s Back, Back Again
- Ilya Kovalchuk wants to return to the NHL, and the New Jersey Devils are willing to facilitate a ‘sign and trade’ to make it happen [TSN].
- It’s always fun to catch up with former NHL’er and All Star John Scott. In this Q&A he talks dadhood, the movie, his relationship with Bryan Bickell, and fighting Phil Kessel [Sportsnet.ca].
- The Stanley Cup Playoffs are being covered in great detail elsewhere and the Game 7s are in the rear view mirror, but this exchange from Wednesday afternoon is too good to miss. Why can’t we have Charles Barkley instead of Mike Milbury???
Take Me Out To The...
Finally, looking for something fun to do this weekend? Buy some peanuts and Cracker Jack and enjoy a night out at the old ball game with the Canes and the Mudcats!