Among all the goalies on this list, most were available through the 2017 free agent cycle, including Steve Mason of the Winnipeg Jets. While Mason is not the starting goalie for the Jets, he’s still a part of one of the best teams in the league this season.
Mason has a save percentage slightly better than Darling’s, but he also has a proven track record in the NHL. There’s no doubt that Mason is not the long-term solution for the Canes, but he is a steadier force than Darling has been through the past couple months.
If the Canes could’ve gotten the Mason that we all saw win the Calder Trophy after the 2008-09 campaign, with the Columbus Blue Jackets, or when he was an All-Star with the Philadelphia Flyers, they would be good to go. But, that’s somewhat of a pipedream at this point in Mason’s career.
The 29-year-old goaltender is inconsistent, but he has playoff experience and knows how to succeed. He’s led a team to the playoffs, pretty much by himself, as a starting goalie. That’s something Darling has not done in his NHL career.