Former NHLer Goes Off on Player Assistance Program and Tells Current Players to Stay Away

Published November 29, 2023 at 11:11

The NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance program has been in the news a lot over the past few years. Just this month, both Milan Lucic and Samuel Girard entered Player Assistance, which provides treatment for players going through mental health, substance abuse or other issues. Not everyone is a big fan, though.

Scott Darling, who won a Stanley Cup as a backup netminder to Corey Crawford in Chicago in 2015, was asked about the program on the What Chaos! podcast. Darling initially said he didn't want to comment, but then went on a major rant against it, telling players who need help to get it independently rather than through the NHL/NHLPA.

" They're really bad people. If you're a player listening, go on your own, don't ever go through the PA to get help if you have an addiction problem or something like that."

"Fk them. I've told players, what I went through, if you need help, do it on your own. Don't ever go through the PA. And I'll say that honestly, I hope you guys f--king hear this, they're monsters. Go somewhere else. They can hold you, like, try and break your contract, stuff like that."

Darling did add some context, saying they tried to get him to break his contract. He did not specify which one.

"You need people who actually want to help the players."

"I'm not going to talk about the nightmare situation I had on here, but I will say, if any players are listening: go by yourself. You have insurance, go outside, don't let anyone in the NHL know you're doing this...don't go through the PA...they're terrible people."

After winning a Stanley Cup in Chicago and becoming a playoff hero in a big come-from-behind win in the first round, Darling's career hit a downward spiral after his rights were traded to Carolina and he signed a four-year deal there. He has since said that mental health issues played a major role in his decline.
November 29   |   599 answers
Former NHLer Goes Off on Player Assistance Program and Tells Current Players to Stay Away

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