DETROIT (BVM) — Former right winger Darren McCarty has made quite a name for himself. No. 25 is well known for his time as a major player in Motown. The former Detroit Red Wings forward has not slowed down a bit in retirement. What has he been up to since hanging up his skates?
Despite his reputation as a grinder, “Big Mac” was a prized prospect coming into the NHL. McCarty was drafted in the second round by the Wings, taken 46th overall in the 1992 NHL Entry Draft. The Burnaby, British Columbia-born brawler put together a solid pro career. He suited up for 13 seasons with the Wings (1993-2004, 2007-09) and tallied four Stanley Cups during that time.
On This Day in 2002: Darren McCarty records a hat trick in a 5-3 win against the Colorado Avalanche in Game 1 of the conference finals. pic.twitter.com/GWzb1iRvCP
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) May 18, 2019
Darren was best known as part of the famed “Grind Line” with fellow Wings forwards Kris Draper, Kirk Maltby, and Joe Kocur. McCarty played 659 games for Detroit and posted 275 points (120 goals, 155 assists) wearing the winged wheel. Plus he added a whopping 1,302 penalty minutes on top of that.
In between his stints with Detroit, he signed as a free agent with the Calgary Flames. McCarty stayed with Calgary from 2005 to 2007. Additionally, he made a couple of other stops before landing back in the Motor City. In January 2008, he inked a deal with the Flint Generals of the International Hockey League. Less than a month later, he would join the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins. Several weeks after, he returned to his first NHL home of Detroit.
Altogether, McCarty logged 15 seasons in the NHL. And his last one was a winner. The following December, he called it a career.
Leader of the band
During his latter days with Detroit, he entered the rock arena. In the early to mid-2000s, McCarty was the founder and frontman of Detroit-based rock band Grinder. He wrote, recorded and toured with the band for several years. They had a sizable following around the metro Detroit area.
Since he retired, McCarty has stayed busy. He penned an autobiography titled “My Last Fight: The True Story of a Hockey Rock Star” that came out in 2013.
Among other things, he made a series of public appearances in 2019 and 2021. Those include a Charity Golf Classic, the Darren McCarty Slapstick Comedy Tour, Windsor ComicCon, and a Habitat for Humanity benefit.
Recently, he teamed with cannabis purveyor Pincanna to release the Darren McCarty Brand. Early in 2022, they released The Darren McCarty Brand full spectrum oil gummies, based on McCarty’s own lifestyle. He is a big proponent of the plant and its therapeutic properties.
Beyond that, he went from NHL enforcer to pro wrestling star. In the spring of 2021, McCarty would make his first foray into the rasslin’ ring. Darren linked with L.A. promoter Circle 6 to get involved in a local Detroit event. Of course, there is a hockey theme to his character. That doesn’t seem to be much of a stretch.
McCarty remains in the metro Detroit area. He is beloved by the Red Wings faithful. After all, this is home.