Reports out of Detroit on Tuesday confirmed some more bad news for the Detroit Red Wings on the injury front. Coach Mike Babacock told the Detroit Free Press that he doesn’t believe center Darren Helm will return to the ice this season. With roughly three weeks remaining in the regular season, the Red Wings can now move forward without planning on Helm returning to the lineup. The news is the latest crushing blow to the promising career of the speedy young center, as he will now finish the 2013 season having only played 12 minutes.
Helm spent the entire offseason and the duration of the lockout recovering from a wrist injury that required surgery, only to be sidelined with a back injury suffered in the first game of the season. Helm scored nine goals and had 26 points for the Red Wings last season while missing a handful of games with various injuries. In 249 career games, he has scored 32 goals and recorded 83 points.
The Red Wings are fighting for their playoff life, and in addition to Helm are missing Todd Bertuzzi, Mikael Samuelsson and Damien Brunner. While Brunner is only listed as day-to-day, Bertuzzi and Sameulsson have been limited to few appearances this season while battling injuries, much like Helm. With Helm out, rookie Joakim Andersson has earned an extended stay in Detroit. He has scored three goals while adding four assists in 29 games. As the final push for the playoffs kicks into high gear this weekend, the Red Wings may need to look at another forward from the AHL team, since it seems unlikely they will get any player other than Brunner back in action.