ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — We’ve seen it happen before with the IceHogs where players who got their pro starts here wound at back in Rockford near the end of their careers. Kris Versteeg and Bryan Bickell are two recent examples. Now it’s goaltender Scott Darling who has come full circle.

Darling was with the IceHogs in the 2014-15 season when he was 25 years old. He posted a 14-8 record that season with two shutouts. That earned him a promotion to the Blackhawks where he stuck on the roster for three seasons. He then spent parts of two seasons with the Carolina Hurricanes. Last year he played in Austria. This year he was sitting at home in nearby Lemont, Illinois waiting for an opportunity when the IceHogs called.

“I get a call from Bernie (Mark Bernard) and you know what better opportunity than right down the road, a place I’m familiar with; people I’m familier with. I was happy to get the call and I rushed here as soon as I could.”

The IceHogs had an urgent need because two of the team’s goaltenders were ruled “unfit to play” which means they either tested positive for Coronavirus or they came into contact with someone who had the virus.

“I was very up front. We’re not sure where this is going to go. There was no promise made,” said Mark Bernard the Blackhawks Vice President of Hockey Operations/Minor Leagues of his phone call to Darling. “Scott’s no different than any other player. He’s here trying to make the hockey club.”

Darling is realistic about his situation, but confident he can still perform well.

“No one is signing me to be a number one NHL goalie, let’s be honest.”

“I think I still have some gas left in the tank. I’m only 32 and I think I’ve still got it.”

No matter what happens for Darling this season or the remainder of his career he always has that Stanley Cup Championship experience with the Blackhawks in 2015 to cling to.

“I definitely pinch myself that even playing one game for the Blackhawks let alone three years and winning a Cup. I’m just so grateful that all of it happened, and it’s the coolest thing in my life!”