Scott Darling calls out players assistance program in violent manner

April 25, 2024  (11:00)

Scott Darling Making A Save
Photo credit: Creator: Charles Rex Arbogast | Credit: The Associated Press

The NHL Players Assistance Program is often utilized by players who are struggling in their personal lives. It is offered through the NHL and NHLPA, as a means of helping players instead of letting them fall through the cracks.

One of them who had a bad experience with them, was former Blackhawks and Carolina Hurricanes goalie, Scott Darling.
He seems to have nothing but disdain for the player assistance program from his own experiences.

On the "What Chaos!" Podcast, the retired goalie sought to refute the comment from Pete Blackburn that the Players Assistance Program is a good thing for the league and its players.
«F them,» Darling said. «I told players [about] what I went through. If you need help, do it on your own. Don't ever go through the PA. I'll say, honestly, I hope you guys Fng here this. They're monsters.»

His biggest criticism of the program is that there is a major threat not considered by many: contract termination.
«They are trying to make you break your contract,» Darling said. «If you walk out the door, then the NHL can break your contract.»

The NHL CBA did not explicitly state that leaving the program is grounds for termination for any NHL Player. It's not so cut and dry according to one player agent.
One NHL agent told Yahoo Sports that a departure from a program could, in some instances, equate to grounds for contract termination, however, the agent added that it would be «a complicated battle.»

Darling was the backup goalie for the 2015 Chicago Blackhawks, the last team of the dynasty to win a Stanley Cup. Darling feels that the program needs more people in place, who actually want to help the players.
«If you can't trust the people who are trying to help you, why the F would you go through there?» Darling said.

Darling says while suffering from anxiety, depression, trauma, and alcohol abuse.
The 34-year-old, rode an unconventional path through the SPHL, ECHL, and AHL to the NHL, after being disciplined for partying too much at the University of Maine.
Darling would record a .923% save percentage in 75 games, spending three seasons in Chicago. Darling would later sign a $16.7 Million, 4-year contract with the Carolina Hurricanes and his save percentage would plummet to .887% in 51 games, spending two seasons in Raleigh.
Darling later would take a leave of absence in February 2019 and miss the remainder of the season. This would result in his contract being bought out, signaling the end of his career in professional hockey in America.
Source: Ca.sports.yahoo.com
Retired goalie Scott Darling blasts NHL/NHLPA player assistance program: 'They're monsters'
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Scott Darling calls out players assistance program in violent manner

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