Twitter user Kane Van Gate was getting an Uber ride in Phoenix, Ariz., when his driver explained how he became a hockey fan after Darling helped a man he had just met.
“I knew nothing about hockey until I gave Scott Darling a ride. He changed my life. When I picked him up he had a man with him. A man who had been through some really trying times and Scott just so happened to see him on the street and strike up a conversation. So he had me drive this guy to a hotel and he paid for an entire month until he got back on his feet… and even got him some groceries. I’ve never met anyone in my life who was so sincere. I later Googled him, found out who he was and now I think hockey is the greatest sport in the world.”
Darling has confirmed the story, saying he was “just paying it forward.”
Darling has gone through some dark times of his own before getting to where he is now.
The Newport News, Va., native struggled with alcoholism to the point where he was kicked off the University of Maine hockey team.
He quit drinking in 2011, and signed with the Blackhawks organization three years later.
The 27-year-old played a big part in getting the Blackhawks their third Stanley Cup in six years last season when he briefly took over as Chicago's starting goalie, putting up a .936 save percentage and 2.21 goals-against average in five playoff games last year.