Even though he currently wears a Carolina Hurricanes jersey, the city of Chicago holds a very special place in Scott Darling's heart.
Not only did Darling get to play for his hometown team and win a Stanley Cup in 2015 with the Hawks, but the battles he fought to get there, made everything that much more special.
That's why when wrote an emotional goodbye to the city through the Player's Tribune, it was a harder process that he thought it would be.
"In writing this story, I got choked up four or five different times," wrote Darling, who is a recovering alcoholic. "Maybe that sounds ridiculous, but that's only if you don't know how low of a place I clawed my way up from."
The transition has been easier than expected for Darling as the Hurricanes added Marcus Kruger and Trevor van Riemsdyk in the summer.
"I was really excited that they grabbed them -- obviously for their on-ice reasons, and just because they're great dudes too," Darling said. "It's nice to have friends in a place where you don't know a lot of people.
"Not just that. I love playing with TVR. I love the way he plays 'D'. And Krugs obviously, he goes to work every night."
It was a huge transition for the goalie who still has Chicago in his heart.
"I just got so comfortable in Chicago. And for me, it's not easy to get comfortable somewhere and feel part of a group, and really love the guys you're playing with and the organization. …It took me a little bit to adjust, but I'm getting there with the new group, new city." Darling continued. "Obviously I miss Chicago, I miss living there, I miss the guys. But I'm super happy in Raleigh, and the biggest thing for me is I wanted the opportunity to play every night. That's the opportunity they gave me here so I decided to come here and take that next step."