Carolina Hurricanes

Canes goalie Darling will be sidelined for a couple of weeks; team gets a backup

Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Scott Darling (33) blocks a shot by Nashville Predators center Rocco Grimaldi (23) during the second period of an NHL preseason hockey game Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn.
Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Scott Darling (33) blocks a shot by Nashville Predators center Rocco Grimaldi (23) during the second period of an NHL preseason hockey game Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn. AP

The Carolina Hurricanes, reacting to an injury to goalie Scott Darling, on Tuesday picked up goalie Curtis McElhinney on waivers from the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Canes coach Rod Brind’Amour said that Darling would be sidelined a couple of weeks. Brind’Amour said Darling had undergone an MRI, noting, “There was nothing major.”

Darling was placed on injured reserve Tuesday as the Canes turned in their official roster to the NHL.

Darling left Sunday’s preseason game against the Nashville Predators in the second period and was replaced by Petr Mrazek, who finished up the 5-4 overtime loss.

Darling joined his teammates Tuesday in attending the annual “We Love the Hurricanes” luncheon at PNC Arena, saying he had a “minor little injury” and was being held off the ice as a precautionary move.

“I feel good, nothing major and I hope to be back soon,” he said.

Mrazek, signed as a free agent in the offseason, will start Thursday’s season opener against the New York Islanders. The Canes then play their first road game Friday against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

McElhinney, 35, has played 186 NHL games and has an $850,000 salary cap hit. He had an 11-5-1 record, 2.15 goals-against average and .934 save percentage for the Leafs in 2017-18, with three shutouts.

Darling’s first season with the Canes was not a good one, but he pushed himself in the offseason, losing 25 pounds and had been effective in preseason games. Now, the injury.

“He looked good and I hate it for him more than anything because he put in the work this summer, and in the little time we got to see him he looked different, to me,” Brind’Amour said. “He looked like a solid goaltender in there and was giving us a lot of confidence.

“It’s a setback, no doubt. But that’s why we got Petr in here, too. It makes my decision a lot easier on who we’re going to throw out there to start on opening night. That part is done and hopefully he gets healthy and back to where he was.”

Mrazek, who came in for Darling in Sunday’s game and finished the 5-4 overtime loss to Nashville, said Darling’s injury and absence would not change the way he’s preparing for the start of the season.

“Not at all,” he said. “I prepare the same for every game.”

McElhinney played for Canada in the 2018 IIHF World Championship, posting a 3-2 record, 1.48 GAA and .936 save percentage, with one shutout.

The Canes, in turning in their NHL roster, placed center Victor Rask on the injured non-roster list. Rask had hand surgery Sept. 13 and is out indefinitely.

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