Darren McCarty

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Darren McCarty

McCarty stretching before a game during his short tenure with Calgary
Born(1972-04-01) April 1, 1972 (age 40)
Burnaby, BC, CAN
Height6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight219 lb (99 kg; 15 st 9 lb)
PositionRight Wing
Played forDetroit Red Wings
Calgary Flames
NHL Draft46th overall, 1992
Detroit Red Wings
Playing career1992–2009
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Darren McCarty

McCarty stretching before a game during his short tenure with Calgary
Born(1972-04-01) April 1, 1972 (age 40)
Burnaby, BC, CAN
Height6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight219 lb (99 kg; 15 st 9 lb)
PositionRight Wing
Played forDetroit Red Wings
Calgary Flames
NHL Draft46th overall, 1992
Detroit Red Wings
Playing career1992–2009

Darren McCarty (born April 1, 1972) is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey forward, best known for his years playing with the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League (NHL). McCarty has been known more for his fists than his scoring ability, taking on the role of the Red Wings enforcer most of his career, a role in which he won four Stanley Cups in 1997, 1998, 2002, and 2008, the last of which after resurrecting his career in the Red Wings minor league system.

McCarty spent much of his childhood growing up in the small town of Leamington, Ontario playing minor hockey for the Southpoint Capitals (OMHA) minor teams.


Playing career

Detroit Red Wings

Drafted in the 2nd round, 49th overall, by the Red Wings in the 1992 NHL Entry Draft, McCarty scored 26 points in his rookie season as the Wings won the Central Division title. In the 1996–97 NHL season, McCarty scored a career best 19 goals and 42 points as the Wings swept the Philadelphia Flyers for their first Stanley Cup in 42 years. McCarty scored the Cup-clinching goal in Game 4. This goal, scored on an inside-outside move around a Flyers' defenseman (Janne Niinimaa), and goalie (Ron Hextall), was honored as one of the best goals of the year. [1]

From the 1997–98 season until his departure from the team, McCarty was part of Detroit's famous Grind Line with center Kris Draper and winger Kirk Maltby, which was often matched up against the opponent's top offensive line.

One of McCarty's most infamous moments was in the famous "Fight Night at the Joe" on March 26, 1997, where a massive brawl broke out between the Colorado Avalanche and Red Wings. McCarty fought Avalanche right winger Claude Lemieux with a blistering punch, and continued punching Lemieux while Lemieux "turtled" his body to avoid damage. The fight was also considered what had broken the curse over the Red Wings, as they went on to win their first Stanley cup in over 40 years. McCarty also scored the overtime winning goal to make it 6-5.

In the 2002 Stanley Cup Playoffs, McCarty registered his first hat-trick in Game One of the Western Conference Finals against the Colorado Avalanche's Patrick Roy. McCarty scored four goals in the series, a career best. Detroit won the series and eventually a third Stanley Cup in six years.

Calgary Flames

After 11 seasons with the Red Wings, McCarty and the team parted ways as the lockout canceled the 2004–05 NHL season. McCarty's contract was bought out by the Red Wings as a result of the newly implemented salary cap. He then signed as a free agent with the Calgary Flames on August 2, 2005. He scored seven goals for the Flames during the regular season. He scored the overtime winning goal in Game 1 of the Flames first round series against the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, a series Calgary would eventually lose in 7 games. In the 2006–07 season, McCarty appeared in only 32 games and for the first time in his career, failed to score a point.

Flint Generals

On December 31, 2007, the Flint Generals of the International Hockey League announced that McCarty had signed with the team.[1] The Generals are co-owned by McCarty's former Grind Liner, Kris Draper, who encouraged McCarty to make a comeback to professional hockey.[2][3] McCarty made his home debut for the Generals on January 12, 2008 and recorded one assist in the 4–3 victory. In ten games with the Generals, McCarty had three goals, two assists, and thirty penalty minutes.

Grand Rapids Griffins and return to the Red Wings

On January 30, 2008, The Grand Rapids Press reported that McCarty would sign a professional tryout contract with the Grand Rapids Griffins.[4] On February 4, 2008, this was made official.[5] On his Griffins debut at Van Andel Arena, he tallied a hat trick and added an assist to power Grand Rapids to a 6–3 win over the Lake Erie Monsters.

On February 25, McCarty signed a one year contract with the Red Wings and was called up on March 7.[6] Facing Nashville in the opening round of the 2008 playoffs, McCarty scored the opening goal in Game Two, a 4-2 Detroit win. The Red Wings eventually won the Stanley Cup in June 2008, McCarty's fourth championship with the team. McCarty signed a one-year contract with the Wings in the offseason.

On November 18, the Red Wings placed McCarty on waivers, knowing he would not be claimed. McCarty cleared waivers and remained with the team. After being sent to Grand Rapids for one game, McCarty was soon recalled. He played 13 games in the 2008-2009 season scoring one goal and 25 penalty minutes. McCarty later suffered a groin strain which landed him on Injury Reserve in late Nevember. On February 24, 2009 the Detroit Red Wings reassigned McCarty to the Grand Rapids Griffins, after being activated from injured reserve. There, he played in 19 games for the Griffins, scoring 5 goals and 6 assists while also collecting 21 penalty minutes. During the Griffins' playoff run McCarty played scored 3 goals, 1 assist and 8 penalty minutes in 10 games. After the Griffins were eliminated in the playoffs by the Manitoba Moose, McCarty was recalled by the Red Wings along with several other Griffins players on May 10. [2]

McCarty became an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2009. On July 7, 2009 Wings GM Ken Holland stated that the team would likely release McCarty. [3]


On December 7, 2009 McCarty officially retired, and had already accepted a job as color analyst for Versus. A fifteen season veteran and fan favorite in Detroit, McCarty thanked the Red Wings and Flames organizations as well as the fans for helping him to realize his dreams.[7]


On November 23, 2009 McCarty made his debut as an NHL Analyst for Versus. McCarty makes occasional appearances on the Versus post game show, Hockey Central. McCarty served as a fill-in co-host on WXYT-FM (97.1 The Ticket) in Detroit.

McCarty appeared on the January 24, 2012 episode of the truTV reality series Hardcore Pawn, where he appeared with a friend that was trying to sell an alligator hide. Later, American Jewelry and Loan owners Les and Seth Gold and tru TV hired McCarty to do some cameo appearances on the show.

Personal life

Darren's father, Craig was diagnosed with the multiple myeloma, an incurable cancer of the bone marrow and blood, in 1995 at age 46. In 1997, Darren McCarty established the McCarty Cancer Foundation as a Father's Day gift to Craig. The foundation's goal is to raise funds to finance research which offers significant promise in the search for a cure of this terminal cancer. It is headed by Craig’s wife Roberta McCarty, who serves as president. Craig lost his battle on November 24, 1999.[8]

McCarty has been to rehab four times, for undisclosed substance-abuse issues.[9] During the offseason, he is the lead singer for hard rock band "Grinder" which has been in hiatus with the sudden passing of their beloved bass player and friend, James B. Anders from cardiomyopathy.

He is left-handed.[10] He appeared on the 2005 ESPN game show "Teammates" with his teammate on the Red Wings at the time, Brendan Shanahan.

McCarty is divorced from his first wife Cheryl Richards with whom he has four children: Griffin, Emerson, Avery, and Gracyn. He plays a very active role in their lives. On April 2, 2012, a day after his 40th birthday, Darren married his longtime girlfriend, Sheryl Sirmons at a surprise ceremony he had set up on Clearwater Beach in Florida. Sheryl is a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Trauma nurse in the Detroit area. They reside in Royal Oak, MI.


Career statistics

  Regular season Playoffs
1988–89Peterborough Roadrunners Jr.B.OHA33111425103
1989–90Belleville BullsOHL631215271421111221
1990–91Belleville BullsOHL60303767151622413
1991–92Belleville BullsOHL655572127177514513
1992–93Adirondack Red WingsAHL731719362781101133
1993–94Detroit Red WingsNHL679172618172248
1994–95Detroit Red WingsNHL315813881832514
1995–96Detroit Red WingsNHL631514291581932520
1996–97Detroit Red WingsNHL681930491262034734
1997–98Detroit Red WingsNHL7115223715722381134
1998–99Detroit Red WingsNHL691426401081011223
1999–00Detroit Red WingsNHL24661248901112
2000–01Detroit Red WingsNHL7212102212361012
2001–02Detroit Red WingsNHL625712982344834
2002–03Detroit Red WingsNHL731392213840006
2003–04Detroit Red WingsNHL43651150120117
2004–05DNP — Lockout
2005–06Calgary FlamesNHL677613117720215
2006–07Calgary FlamesNHL3200058
2007–08Flint GeneralsIHL1133630
2007–08Grand Rapids GriffinsAHL13551021
2007–08Detroit Red WingsNHL301121711219
2008–09Grand Rapids GriffinsAHL19561121103148
2008–09Detroit Red WingsNHL1310125
NHL totals7581271612871477174232649228


  1. ^ "Darren McCarty attempting comeback with Flint Generals, Detroit Free Press, December 31, 2007". http://freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071230/SPORTS05/312300014/1053. 
  2. ^ "Former teammates Kris Draper, Darren McCarty reconnect, George Sipple, Detroit Free Press, December 31, 2007". http://freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071231/SPORTS18/712310382/1053. 
  3. ^ "FROM GRIND TO GRACE: Darren McCarty tries to find himself and his career again, Detroit Free Press, January 27, 2008". http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080127/SPORTS05/801270692/1048/SPORTS. 
  4. ^ "McCarty deal with Griffins imminent, The Grand Rapids Press, January 30, 2008". http://www.mlive.com/griffins/grpress/index.ssf?/base/sports-1/1201699513267820.xml&coll=6. 
  5. ^ "Darren McCarty signs contract with AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins, NHL.com, February 4, 2008". http://www.nhl.com/nhl/app?articleid=352253&page=NewsPage&service=page. 
  6. ^ "Red Wings call up McCarty, Detroit Free Press, March 7, 2008". http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080307/SPORTS05/80307063/1053/. 
  7. ^ "Longtime Red Wing McCarty announces retirement". 7 December 2009. http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=508980. 
  8. ^ "Foundation Background". http://www.mccartycancerfoundation.org/about.htm. 
  9. ^ "McCarty learns to separate 'Mac' from 'Darren' , Associated Press, April 11, 2008". http://blog.mlive.com/snapshots/2008/04/mccarty_learns_to_separate_mac.html. 
  10. ^ "Detnews.com". http://multimedia.detnews.com/pix/sports/2008/redwings/redwingslastday060708/2008-0607-dg-wings0303.jpg. 
  11. ^ "ESPY Awards". http://espn.go.com/espy2001/s/pastwinners.html. 

External links