Aspiring goaltender Kane Van Gate tweeted on Sunday night a description of Darling's actions:
Here's another example of hockey players being awesome people... pic.twitter.com/mR1eNNB97F
— Kane Van Gate (@KVanGate38) February 8, 2016
Darling told the Chicago Tribune that he met the man on Wednesday in Scottsdale, Arizona, when the Blackhawks were in the area to play the Arizona Coyotes. He said he was surprised by the reaction he's received.
"I just started talking to him, was interested in his life, seemed like a good guy and just needed a helping hand," Darling told the Tribune. "That's how it happened."
Darling has spoken openly about his struggles with addiction. He said his past experiences gave him empathy for the man he ultimately helped.
"I definitely have a soft spot in my heart for that situation -- people battling stuff that other people don't understand," Darling told the Tribune. "He seemed like a really nice person. I'm in the position to help somebody like that. I'm happy to do it."