Scott Darling listened to President Barack Obama praise him during last week’s visit to the White House.
Even from a few rows back, one could clearly see Darling turning a few shades of red.
“Absolutely. And the I started to go toward white,” Darling said on Wednesday. “I was certainly nervous. Luckily the speech wasn’t longer because I don’t know how long I could have kept my composure. But it was very cool.”
Obama made special mention of defenseman Kimmo Timonen for overcoming blood clots to win a Stanley Cup and Darling for the backup goaltender assisting a man during a trip to Arizona. Darling’s good deed went viral on social media, and Darling was very surprised that Obama talked about it.
“No idea. I was sitting there thinking, ‘Oh my. Is this happening right now?’” said Darling, who was a bit overcome by the moment. “[Brent Seabrook] was supporting me. I was getting a little bit woozy there so I was holding onto Seabs.”
Darling said he has kept in touch with the man he helped in Arizona.
“He appreciates it and seems to be making the most of it,” Darling said. “So that’s good.”
Darling didn’t expect the president to single him out. But it was a moment Darling will never forget.
“I don’t know how many people have been through that experience,” he said. “It’s something I’ll be proud to tell my kids someday.”