Although born in Boston, Massachusetts, Darren grew up in North Bay, Ontario. His mother Sue was in the nursing profession and his father Don and sister Alyson were teachers.
Darren never was a physical player. Instead he relied on his skills. He was a
tremendously fast skater who also had a booming shot.
Darren attended NY Rangers' training camp in 1987 but suffered a shoulder injury
which kept him out of the first 34 games during the 1987-88 season. He split that
season between North Bay and Colorado Rangers (IHL). Darren's NHL debut came on
October 6, 1988 at the old Chicago Stadium. He played left wing between future Hall of
Famer Marcel Dionne and at that time a newly inducted Hall of Famer Guy Lafleur.
Darren admitted that he spent the entire game watching his linemates in total awe as
well as the loud Chicago crowd.
After a couple of games he was assigned to Denver (IHL) on October 26. In Denver he
racked up 49 points (21 goals and 28 points) in only 40 games, his totals were all fourth best on the club.
NY Rangers recalled him on February 19 and the next night he scored his first career
goal against Sean Burke (New Jersey). Less than two weeks later he had scored his
first career NHL hat trick. In 20 games for NY Rangers he picked up 10 points (7 goals).
When the 1988-89 season started Darren was still considered an NHL rookie. He had a
great season scoring 66 points (32 goals and 34 assists). But as it turned out he would never match his
32 goal performance, and the 66 point season was only topped by his sophomore
season in 1989-90 when he scored 67 points (26 goals and 41 assists). Darren played in the 1991 NHL
All-Star game that was held in Chicago. He still lists the 1991 All-Star game national
anthem as one of his most memorable hockey moments It was an emotional event that
was enhanced by the beginning of the Gulf War.
Darren's stint in New York was a successful one. When he managed to score 25 goals
in 1992-93 he became only the third player in Rangers' history to score at least that
many in each of his first four full seasons with the club. (Steve Vickers and Tomas
Sandström were the other two). Darren scored 255 points (122 goals and 133 assists) in 325 games for
NY Rangers before he was traded to Hartford Whalers on November 3, 1993.
Darren never rebounded from that trade and only scored 156 points in the next 310
games. He didn't last two full seasons with one team the rest of his career and never
scored more than 43 points in one season. He played 66 games with Hartford, 59
games with Winnipeg, 74 games with San Jose, 62 games (+10 playoff) with St.Louis
and finally 49 games with Nashville.
Darren was also bothered by various injuries. One
of them that happened in 1996-97 forced him to miss 13 games. It was one of the
weirdest in NHL history. Darren somehow managed to puncture his eardrum with a
cotton swab. The injury affected his balance.