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MLive’s Savage offers good news regarding Red Wings forward Darren Helm

Darren Helm seemed to be happy, speedy and just relaxed as he engaged in the final practice at the Red Wings' development camp, and after he skated, MLive's Brendan Savage spoke with Helm to receive an update on the state of Helm's healing back:

"They went really well," he said Monday on the final day of the Development Camp at Centre Ice Arena. "I wasn't too sure how it was going to go. It felt good. I'm optimistic. Heading on the right path. It's a good start to summer training. I'm getting closer to the end of rehab so I can get closer to actually pushing it. I'm looking forward to getting on the ice a little more and working harder."

Helm said any discomfort he experienced in the last week had nothing do with the back injury. It was more of a case of reintroducing his body to the rigors of professional hockey.

"It's muscles I haven't worked in a long time," he said. "It's just muscle pain. It's not pain I haven't felt before. I felt it a little bit at night. Every time I got out on the ice, it worked out. I felt good. It's encouraging."

Now, Helm will return to Detroit and complete his rehab before stepping up his workout regime in preparation for training camp in September.

"It's all kind of rehab now," he said. "Strength, getting stronger, quicker and faster, being able to move it in a different way.  It's not something that will happen in a week, a weekend. It's going to take a month, six weeks, seven-eight weeks."

So the camp was a success?

"I hope so," Helm said. "I believe so. It was good."

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Comments

bezukov's avatar

I’m still guarding my optimism about Darren’s recovery, but this is encouraging.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 07/15/13 at 11:18 AM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

I’m still guarding my optimism about Darren’s recovery, but this is encouraging.


Yeah.  First he needs to actually play hockey, and then he has to play like Darren Helm before I’ll feel better.  I remember when Kyle Wellwood was a bad ass, and then he got hurt, and he’s just not the same player.  So, this is like the 5 steps of encouragement, step 1.  Step 2 is training camp.  I can’t bring myself to get worked up until he’s passed that.

Posted by MoreShoot on 07/15/13 at 11:30 AM ET

RW19's avatar

That is pretty decent news on Helm but it will likely take him October & November to get into real NHL game mode. That’s fine too. Huge asset and having him back makes this team immensely better. On the bright side, with Andersson’s emergence, Emmerton hanging around and even Ferraro and Sheahen coming off very good AHL playoff runs ... Babcock can work him in pretty slowly. He’d probably be, by far, the best 4th line center in the Eastern Conference

Posted by RW19 on 07/15/13 at 11:56 AM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

He’d probably be, by far, the best 4th line center in the Eastern Conference

Except that honor will go to Andersson.

 

Posted by MoreShoot on 07/15/13 at 12:01 PM ET

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Except that honor will go to Andersson.

I doubt it, at least at the beginning of the season.  It only makes sense to keep the Griffins line of Andersson, Nyquist and Tatar together and see if they can make their magic together in the big leagues.

Posted by Garth on 07/15/13 at 12:36 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Well I’ll bet you billions I don’t have that 4th line will be Andersson, Tatar, Miller.  I thought Tatar was out of options, Kenny said Nyquist will be in Detroit, and we know Mike wants Andersson.

Posted by MoreShoot on 07/15/13 at 12:46 PM ET

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I think you misunderstood me.  I don’t think they’re going to be in Grand Rapids, I think that the dominant line from Grand Rapids’ playoff run (Andersson/Nyquist/Tatar) is going to be in Detroit and that they’re going to be the third line.

I think that, at least to start the year, they’re going to see if they can recreate their Calder Cup chemistry as the third line for the Wings (much like the way they started Zetterberg and Brunner together because of their chemistry in the Swiss League during the lockout).

I think Helm will centre the fourth line, if he’s able, to start the season, and I would bet it will be with Bert and Miller on his wings.

Posted by Garth on 07/15/13 at 12:57 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

I think you misunderstood me. 

Got it. 

So, do you think, assuming Helm gets healthy and improves sufficient to take over the 3rd line, do they just switch Helm with Andersson?  I was expecting the 3rd line, eventually, to be Helm, Bert, and Nyquist.

Posted by MoreShoot on 07/15/13 at 01:08 PM ET

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Yeah, probably, depending both on Helm’s health and the chemistry of Andersson/Nyquist/Tatar and of Weiss/Franzen/Alfredsson.

I think that, ideally, they’re going to strive to be able to essentially roll four lines the way they did in ‘08, and I think that they have real potential for that.  Having Andersson, Nyquist and Tatar together gives them a third line that’s a real scoring threat, and having Helm “slum” as the fourth line centre elevates that line as well.

Posted by Garth on 07/15/13 at 01:16 PM ET

Chris in A^2's avatar

Unless Helm is still hurt, he wont play on the 4th line.  If you don’t believe me, compare Helm’s ice time to the rookies last year. Helm is one of the most valuable forwards on the team.  He isnt going to play behind players that typically get 3-5 minutes less ice time per game than he was before his injury.

Posted by Chris in A^2 from Nyquist Puck Control on 07/15/13 at 01:32 PM ET

RWBill's avatar


Unless Helm is still hurt, he wont play on the 4th line.  If you don’t believe me, compare Helm’s ice time to the rookies last year. Helm is one of the most valuable forwards on the team.  He isnt going to play behind players that typically get 3-5 minutes less ice time per game than he was before his injury.

Posted by Chris in A^2 from Nyquist Puck Control on 07/15/13 at 01:32 PM ET

Well that’s right.  Babcock already considers him the best 3rd line center in the league.  He’ll find him playing time, regardless of what line you call it. PK, tough matchups, you name it, you’ll find Helm.

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 07/15/13 at 01:47 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

It’s going to be very hard to differentiate the “third” and “fourth” lines if all goes well for the Red Wings. If Helm is healthy, whoever the Wings throw over the boards with Helm will play like a third line, and given the chemistry between Nyquist, Andersson and Tatar at the AHL level, you can’t really call them a “fourth line,” either.

I think this, “Who’s going to be on the FOURTH line versus the THIRD line” stuff has gotten way too frickin’ complicated.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/15/13 at 01:50 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

It’s going to be very hard to differentiate the “third” and “fourth” lines if all goes well for the Red Wings

Heck, it was hard to differentiate this year when Emmerton & gang were getting the third line minutes & responsibilities for two weeks & still got called the 4th line.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/15/13 at 01:57 PM ET

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Unless Helm is still hurt, he wont play on the 4th line.

I think you’re missing my point.  It wasn’t that Helm is a fourth line centre as much as it is that I think the big line for GR in th Calder Cup playoffs is going to be given a chance to stay together.  What number that line is given is really irrelevant because the Wings are as close as they’ve been in years to simply being able to roll four lines.

So if you it makes you feel better then you can say Andersson’s line is the fourth line and Helm’s is the third line.  It doesn’t matter to me because I think that the difference between the first line’s ice time and the fourth line’s ice time is going to be less than it has been in years.

Posted by Garth on 07/15/13 at 02:04 PM ET

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Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/15/13 at 01:57 PM ET

Absolutely, and I think it will be harder still this year.  I think there will be times that it will be difficult to differentiate between second and third line as well.

Posted by Garth on 07/15/13 at 02:05 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

I dig Third Line A and Third Line B. If both lines play like they could, that should technically be able to lower the First line minutes to under 20 a night…even lower if possible.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 07/15/13 at 02:09 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Or what Garth said because I didn’t refresh the thread. *facepalm

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 07/15/13 at 02:10 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

It’s going to be very hard to differentiate the “third” and “fourth” lines if all goes well for the Red Wings.

George nailed it. I think the Wings will have a first line (Pav-Z-Abby), a second line (Floater-Weiss-Alfie) and two third lines (Nike-Andy-Tatar and Miller-Helm-Bert/Eaves). Let’s see other teams try to match up with those four lines.

The crazy part is the Wings still need to trade away (or give away) Sammy, Emmerton and Tootoo to get down the the 13 forwards above. Worst-case scenario is the Wings have to trade Eaves (with Emmerton & Tootoo) instead of Sammy.

I think this is, by far, the deepest the Wings forwards have been since the “glory days” that saw Lucky Luke, Igor Larianov and Homer on the 4th line.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 07/15/13 at 02:18 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Absolutely, and I think it will be harder still this year.  I think there will be times that it will be difficult to differentiate between second and third line as well.

This is my absolute hope. I really want developing youth on the lower lines challenging for spots higher in the lineup.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/15/13 at 02:23 PM ET

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Saying this team is THAT deep is a bit of an overstatement.  For example Bertuzzi didn’t even crack the lineup during the playoffs last year.  A big indicator of how successful this offseason was really will be if Weiss > Filp and if Alfredsson > Brunner.  While I’d put my money on that being the case (as it was a huge offensive upgrade and moderate defensive upgrade), they are both players who have been injured once every 3-4 seasons. 

I have been looking forward to the Tatar/Andersson/Nyquist line being in the NHL for a while now.  Especially once Andersson proved his chops in the NHL.  I’m hoping Tatar moving up helps Nyquist find the scoring he’s capable of (every good puck mover needs a scorer).

Posted by neffernin on 07/15/13 at 04:01 PM ET

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Saying this team is THAT deep is a bit of an overstatement.  For example Bertuzzi didn’t even crack the lineup during the playoffs last year.

Bertuzzi’s gonna have a heck of a time cracking the lineup as it is now too, but this year we also have two bonafide top lines another line that could be as good as the second—with Tatar as a step up from Clear—and, if Helm is healthy the other line is bolstered as well.

Posted by Garth on 07/15/13 at 04:15 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Absolutely, and I think it will be harder still this year.  I think there will be times that it will be difficult to differentiate between second and third line as well.

Posted by Garth on 07/15/13 at 02:05 PM ET

If that goes to plan with a relatively low rate of injuries occurring, I think it can help Dangles and Zata a lot more, too, over the course of the long season.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 07/15/13 at 04:45 PM ET

Chris in A^2's avatar

I don’t disagree with the logic of keeping griffins linemates together, but I dont see the depth.  After Anderson and Nyquist, every forward on the roster struggled to keep a place in the lineup and only saw limited ice time while they were in.  If someone has to center what I assume will be a revolving door of spare parts, it’s going to be Andersson.

Posted by Chris in A^2 from Nyquist Puck Control on 07/15/13 at 05:00 PM ET

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Would be great to see what this team will do if it avoids injuries.  Can’t be much worse than last year:

http://www.mangameslost.com/updated-end-of-regular-season-nhl-man-games-lost-april-29-2013/

http://www.mangameslost.com/end-of-regular-season-nhl-man-games-lost-april-28-2013/

Posted by neffernin on 07/15/13 at 05:02 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Bertuzzi had so much rust on him there was little point in playing him in May. Not to mention he most likely wasn’t at 100%.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 07/15/13 at 05:19 PM ET

Avatar

After Anderson and Nyquist, every forward on the roster struggled to keep a place in the lineup and only saw limited ice time while they were in.

Who did?

The Wings had 10 players who played 13 of the 14 games as well as Abdelkader who played 12, but only missed two because of his suspension.  And Miller only missed time because of injury, playing every game in the playoffs once he was healthy.  Seems to me that means one spot had a rotating cast, and that was only because of Miller’s injury.

Replacing two of those players (Filppula & Brunner for Weiss & Alfredsson) is a lateral move at worst, and when you add Helm (who only missed time because of injury) and Tatar (Calder Cup playoff MVP) to the roster it seems to me that the only negative is there are too many everyday players vying for spots on that last line.

The second line is better, the Andersson/Nyquist/Tatar line is at worst the same as it was with Brunner, and the other line with Helm is automatically better if he is healthy.  Seriously. right now it’s the best three of Helm, Eaves, Miller, Tootoo, Emmerton and Bert as that final line (and yes, maybe some of those are shuffled with the Andersson/Nyquist/Tatar line, but for now, for the sake of argument…).  Two of those guys (Eaves & Emmerton) played 13 of the 14 overachieving playoff games, two of them (Bert & Miller) played 6 each, both having missed time because of injuries, not bad play, and also there’s Darren Helm.  Taking away Bert and Tootoo, you’ve still got Eaves, Emmerton, Miller and Helm competing for three spots.

How do you not see the depth?

Posted by Garth on 07/15/13 at 06:14 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.