Former Hawks goalie shares his story of addiction and redemption

Life in the minors has a dark side and not everyone makes it out.

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The term “battler” gets used a lot when describing NHL goaltenders. A “battler” is usually deemed to be a goalie who does whatever it takes to stop the puck, conventions be damned. In the case of recently acquired Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Scott Darlling however, the term takes on an entirely new meaning.

The former Chicago Blackhawks backup recently penned a goodbye letter to his hometown for The Players’ Tribune, but it goes beyond the typical “I’m going to miss you” letters that we’ve seen from the publication. In his own words, Darling describes his journey through alcohol addiction, poverty and rejection before ultimately overcoming everything and realizing his childhood dream of playing for the Hawks.

The full article is a must read, but first preview some of the more harrowing passages below:

The thing about alcoholism is that you never think you have a problem. 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. Like if I walked into a room of 100 people, I wanted to make sure all 100 people thought I was cool. I was obsessed with being the best version of myself at all times.
I was only making $200 a week, so my routine was pretty sad. After practice I would go to Subway and get a $5 foot-long, and then I’d go to the liquor store and get the cheapest bottle possible. And then I’d go home and drink on the couch. That was my whole day.
When I was in fourth grade, my teacher asked the class to write down what we wanted to be when we grew up. I wrote, “I want to play goalie for the Chicago Blackhawks.” My grandparents still have the sheet of paper at their house.

For the full article, click the link below: