The Detroit Red Wings have re-signed forward Darren Helm to a four-year-deal worth 8.5 million dollars. The Wings are able to keep the speedy forward in Hockeytown for the next four years, which is made especially important with the growing age of the rest of the roster.
Helm bit the injury bug last season, missing numerous time throughout the end of the season, as well as the majority of their brief playoff run. Helm’s absence was multiplied by the Nashville Predators stellar defensemen, when the Preds eliminated the Wings in only five games. Helm’s biggest contribution for the Red Wings is generally on the powerplay, something Detroit really struggled with in that series.
The 25-year-old winger managed only 26 points in 69 games last season, but his impact generally doesn’t show up in the stat column. His speed and elusiveness are an excellent change of pace for the Red Wings, whose roster is made up of a majority of older players.
“Darren is an important part of our team and we’re very happy that we’ve reached an agreement,” said Red Wings general manager Ken Holland. “He’s one of the fastest skaters in the game and we love the physical element that he brings. He’s an outstanding penalty killer and the ideal third-line center for us behind Pavel (Datsyuk) and Henrik (Zetterberg). We really missed him when he was out of the lineup in March and April.”
Look for Helm to be fully healthy when training camp opens in September, and should be rarin’ to go when the season gets underway on October 12 against those same Nashville Predators.