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Red Wings’ Darren Helm out for at least a month with an MCL sprain

Updated 4x at 3:18 PM; Time to press the, “Oh s#*t!” button regarding Red Wings forward Darren Helm’s knee injury, per MLive’s Ansar Khan:

Helm out 4-6 weeks with 2nd degree mcl sprain. Holland tells M-Live

The Free Press’s Helene St. James confirms:

Holland tells Free Press that Darren Helm has second degree MCL sprain, will miss 4-6 weeks

The Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness is confirming as well, and 4 weeks from today = April 16th.

Update: St. James is confirming via text:

Detroit Red Wings forward Darren Helm will miss 4 to 6 weeks with a sprained knee. An MRI exam this morning revealed a second-degree sprain of the medial collateral ligament in Helm’s left knee, general manager Ken Holland told the Free Press.

Helm was injured when he went to hit San Jose’s Dominic Moore on Saturday. When Moore turned away from the hit, it turned into more of a collision, and Helm immediately pulled up and left the game without playing another shift.

This is a significant blow for the Wings, who rely on Helm for speed and energy as the team’s third-line center. He also is integral to the penalty kill. While four weeks would put Helm’s return date during the first round of the playoffs, these injuries tend to go to the longer estimate.

Update #2: Here’s Pleiness’s full report:

With the playoff just over three weeks away, the Wings will be without Darren Helm for the next 4-6 weeks with an MCL sprained on his left knee. No surgery will be required.

“We just have to wait for it to heal,” Wings GM Ken Holland said. “It’s just a sprain. You just have to wait for it to heal. Helmer’s a big part of the team, but an opportunity for others,” Holland added. “I’m assuming Abby will go into that 3 hole. He’s been a good player for us. The playoffs are three and a half weeks away. I’m hoping Helm’s a fast healer and he’ll be ready sometime around the start of the playoffs. That’s certainly the hope but you won’t know until you let some time go by. But certainly we’re hoping sometime during the first round of the playoffs we’ll get Helmer back, but in the meantime it’s an opportunity for Nyquist to play and opportunity for Abby to have a bigger role.”

Helm suffered a left knee or leg injury late in the third period of Saturday’s overtime loss to the San Jose Sharks in a collision with Dominic Moore.

“I’m a little bit concerned,” Helm said after the game. “More than I want to be right now. It’s pretty close to the end of the season. I was hoping I’d be healthy and playing my best going into the playoffs. That obviously is not going to be the case. Hopefully, I’ll be healthy and ready to play the first game of the playoffs,” Helm continued. “Hopefully I’ll be ready before that. I don’t know how long it’s going to take. We’ll find out on Monday.”

Helm tried to skate during a break, but went right to the dressing room.

“As soon as I jumped on I knew right away I couldn’t go,” Helm said. “I’ve had similar injuries, but this is more painful than other times. I was going to hit Moore, but I kind of didn’t take the best angle on him,” Helm added. “He kind of jumped out of the way a little bit, trying to avoid the hit and we just kind of collided. I was trying to hit him pretty good and he got out of the way. It was just one of those funky collisions. I was in pain right away.”

Update #2.5: Khan is confirming via text as well.

Update #2.75: The Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan also confirms:

Red Wings center Darren Helm will be out 4-6 weeks with a sprained left knee, the team said Monday.

Helm has nine goals and 17 assists in 68 games this season. He was injured in Detroit’s 3-2 overtime loss in San Jose on Saturday night.

Update #3: Here’s Khan’s story with quotes from Ken Holland...

“The playoffs are 3 1/2 weeks away. I’m hoping Helm’s a fast healer and he’ll be ready sometime around the start of the playoffs,’’ Holland said. “That’s certainly the hope, but you won’t know until you let some time go by. But certainly we’re hoping sometime during the first round of the playoffs we’ll get Helmer back.’‘

Helm was injured in Saturday’s 3-2 overtime loss to the San Jose Sharks, after delivering a hit on Dominic Moore midway through the third period. An MRI Monday revealed the extent of the injury.
...
The team will miss Helm’s speed and energy. He’s a player who elevates his game at playoff time, when he has proven to be hard to play against. Helm, 25, has nine goals and 17 assists in 68 games. Justin Abdelkader will take his spot as the third-line center.

“Helmer’s a big part of the team, but it’s an opportunity for others,’’ Holland said. “I’m assuming Abby will go into that three-hole. He’s been a good player for us.’‘

Detroit recalled rookie Gustav Nyquist from the Grand Rapids Griffins on Sunday to fill the roster opening. He practiced on a line with Pavel Datsyuk and Todd Bertuzzi, where he likely will start Monday’s game against Washington.

“Nyquist has played very well in the American Hockey League, but that’s the American Hockey League,’’ Holland said. “We’re trying to roll 3-4 lines and (Danny) Cleary is a guy that can play up and play down. You put Cleary and Abby and (Drew) Miller together and it’s a real good third checking line. We’re hoping Nyquist can do some things, but obviously if we’re in the first period and there’s no magic or no chemistry then the coach will make changes.’‘

And the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan did the same thing to his story:

Forward Darren Helm will miss approximately 4-6 weeks, according to general manager Ken Holland, because of a Grade 2 sprain to Helm’s left MCL.

“The good news was there was no damage,” Holland said. “We have 10 games left, three weeks, so we expect Helmer to be back at some point during the first round (of the playoffs). It’s a tough loss, but it’s an opportunity now, for other players.”

Helm injured his knee during Saturday’s 3-2 overtime loss in San Jose attempting to check the Sharks’ Dominic Moore. Helm’s knee took the brunt of the hit. He attempted to return to the game but was noticeably hurt, and said after the game the knee was bothering him.

Holland mentioned Justin Abdelkader, who’ll step into Helm’s roll a center on the third line, and recent call-up Gustav Nyquist, who is the lineup Monday night against Washington, as two players who are likely to get increased minutes and responsibility with Helm out of the lineup.

“There are opportunities for other players,” Holland said. “Right now, we have to get healthy and we have to continue to find ways to win some hockey games.”

Update #4: Here’s NHL.com’s Brian Hedger’s report about Helm:

“It’s a sprain,” Holland said. “You wait for the sprain to heal. This one just so happens to be on his knee. If you sprain your thumb, you don’t do anything for it. You just wait for it to heal. This is the same thing. We just have to wait for it to heal.”

He should be used to that refrain by now, with Detroit’s list of walking wounded seemingly growing by the day. The good news is that several Red Wings appear to be on the mend, including defensemen Jonathan Ericsson (fractured wrist) and Jakub Kindl (oblique strain). Both went through Monday’s morning skate at the United Center and showed signs their ailments are healing. Captain Nicklas Lidstrom (bruised ankle) also went through a full morning skate for the first time in nine games and hopes to go through a full practice Tuesday.

“The playoffs are three-and-a-half weeks away,” Holland said. “I’m hoping Helm’s a fast healer and he’ll be ready sometime around the start of the playoffs. That’s certainly the hope, but you won’t know until you let some time go by. But certainly we’re hoping sometime during the first round of the playoffs we’ll get Helmer back. In the meantime, it’s an opportunity for (Gustav Nyquist) to play and an opportunity for (Justin Abdelkader) to have a bigger role.”

Abdelkader will fill in for Helm at center on the third line, which likely will start with Danny Cleary at right wing.

“We’re grinding right now,” Holland said of his team, which has won just once in the past seven games (1-5-1). “We weren’t overly pleased with our effort in our games in California (last week). I thought we played hard in San Jose. We just have to keep grinding.”

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Comments

mrfluffy's avatar

There isn’t any uncensored words worth typing…

Ok Mursak, this is your Spring of 2008 (TM Darren Helm).

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 03/19/12 at 03:49 PM ET

stonehands-78's avatar

... i got nothing ...

Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 03/19/12 at 03:51 PM ET

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Oof.

Posted by Garth on 03/19/12 at 03:57 PM ET

Nate A's avatar

Balls

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 03/19/12 at 04:01 PM ET

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NOOOO!!

This makes me sad.  :(

Posted by PieceOfMind from Muskegon, currently residing in Sabres Territory on 03/19/12 at 04:05 PM ET

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Just… wow.

Posted by Herm from the office on 03/19/12 at 04:08 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

I’d make a comment about God and mortality but Herm and/or Helm might smite me.

That said…this should suffice-

What does God need with a starship?

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 03/19/12 at 04:13 PM ET

Wings_in_NYC's avatar

Crap on a stick.

Posted by Wings_in_NYC on 03/19/12 at 04:17 PM ET

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6 weeks more likely b/c Helm relies so much on his speed

Hope no one uses this as an example why the Wings age is conducive to injuries.

Posted by dca from back in Mich (formerly Alexandria, VA) on 03/19/12 at 04:25 PM ET

Forlorn in VA's avatar

This is disheartening news.

Posted by Forlorn in VA on 03/19/12 at 04:30 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

This is why we have Chris Conner.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 03/19/12 at 04:35 PM ET

Cwix's avatar

FUCH

Posted by Cwix from Grand Rapids, now Chicago, IL on 03/19/12 at 04:37 PM ET

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ah! Maudite marde!

Posted by Nat from MTL on 03/19/12 at 04:41 PM ET

cementslinger's avatar

March is the new February of old.  Suck it March.

Posted by cementslinger from Midland MI on 03/19/12 at 04:48 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

4-6 six weeks sounds more like a post-surgical repair (for a small tear) timeline than a recovery from a “sprain” timeline.

As much as I love Helmer, at least it’s not Z, Enigma 2.0 (aka Mule), Stuie or Kronner.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 03/19/12 at 04:50 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

This is why we have Chris Conner

Conner doesn’t have the PK presence, or speed, or toughness on the puck, or effing anything! 

The hardest part about this is that it forces Emmerton into a starting role in the playoffs, since Abbey will have to plug Helms hole on line 3.  Is there another available center I’m forgetting? 

Of course, one alternative might be—in certain situations—leaving Nyquist in in the playoffs on second line, with Hank, and moving Fil down to third line center.  That would give us more strength down the middle.

Posted by MoreShoot on 03/19/12 at 04:59 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Abbey will have to plug Helms hole

Sorry, couldn’t help it….

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 03/19/12 at 05:12 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

George, please make the bad news stop!

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 03/19/12 at 05:13 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Sorry, couldn’t help it….

You, sir, are a degenerate.

Posted by MoreShoot on 03/19/12 at 05:16 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Posted by MoreShoot on 03/19/12 at 02:59 PM ET

Chris Conner doesn’t have the speed?  He’s at least as fast as Mursak. He’s defensively good and he’s positively dogged on the puck.

Chris Conner isn’t nearly as good as Darren Helm and that’s why he’s been in Grand Rapids all season, but in a pinch, Chris Conner is the poor man’s Darren Helm. I would consider this a pinch.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 03/19/12 at 05:24 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

You, sir, are a degenerate.

Posted by MoreShoot on 03/19/12 at 03:16 PM ET

Hey!  I resemble that!

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 03/19/12 at 05:25 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

We’re hoping Nyquist can do some things, but obviously if we’re in the first period and there’s no magic or no chemistry then the coach will make changes.

Well at least they’re not putting any pressure on the kid. Sheesh.

Conner doesn’t have the PK presence, or speed, or toughness on the puck, or effing anything!

I have to disagree with that. Conner played very well on the PK at the beginning of the season. He’s no Darren Helm, but he won’t hurt you with his play.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 03/19/12 at 05:27 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 03/19/12 at 03:24 PM ET

Agreed.  Losing Helm hurts in a lot of ways, but you could do a whole hell of a lot worse than Chris Conner.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 03/19/12 at 05:27 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

you could do a whole hell of a lot worse than Chris Conner.

Perhaps, but Helm is a center, and plays about 20 lbs heavier than he is.  And Conner isn’t going to rock Ed Jovanowski into next week in the playoffs the way Helm did.  I still get a warm feeling thinking about that.  Remember when Cleary was like that (back in 2007)?  Sheesh.  Has it been that long since Cleary was dangerous?

Posted by MoreShoot on 03/19/12 at 05:52 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

Has it been that long since Cleary was dangerous?
Posted by MoreShoot on 03/19/12 at 03:52 PM ET

Charlie Buckets is now playing like Grandpa Joe.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 03/19/12 at 05:58 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Charlie Buckets is now playing like Grandpa Joe.

he used to hit, and he had a real slap shot.  Oh, those were the days ....  sigh.

Posted by MoreShoot on 03/19/12 at 06:02 PM ET

DocF's avatar

Ligament sprains take a while to heal.  4-6 weeks sounds about right to me.  The fact that Helm is younger helps in this to a degree. 

Players hurt, players out, players playing who should be out.  When will it end? 

I like the concept of putting Nyquist on an offensive line.  His skill set should fit better than on a checking line.  Also, he is kind of smallish, is he not?

I see people still are ragging on Emmerton.  Do they not watch the games?  There is a major difference between him now and him at the start of the season.  He is fitting in more and playing better. 

Anyway, I just hope we can get through tonight’s game without getting anyone else hurt.

Doc

Posted by DocF from Now: Lynn Haven, FL; was Reidsville, NC on 03/19/12 at 06:08 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

I see people still are ragging on Emmerton.  Do they not watch the games?  There is a major difference between him now and him at the start of the season.  He is fitting in more and playing better. 

I don’t what’s so bad about Emmerton.  Sure he’s rather invisible, but for a rookie that isn’t a bad thing in my mind.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 03/19/12 at 06:17 PM ET

WingsFaninCO's avatar

This feels like somebody kicked my in the junk and never took their foot away.

Posted by WingsFaninCO on 03/19/12 at 06:26 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

I don’t what’s so bad about Emmerton.  Sure he’s rather invisible, but for a rookie that isn’t a bad thing in my mind.

He’s getting better.  He doesn’t try to stick handle out of his own zone when outmanned anymore, and he shows some more offensive maturity.  But Bab’s hasn’t shown much faith in him and that fourth line has struggled mightily on the road getting cycled to death and then set upon by top line.

Posted by MoreShoot on 03/19/12 at 06:29 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

But Bab’s hasn’t shown much faith in him

His favorite thing is one thing that needs to stop…that and he needs not to be afraid to stick a guy in the Leino Lounge, even if that guy is making $5 or $6 million a year.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 03/19/12 at 06:39 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

Merde.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 03/19/12 at 08:35 PM ET

Avatar

It sounds like Helm should be back just in time to help his teammates clear out their lockers after they get swept in the first round…if they make the playoffs, that is.

Posted by godblender on 03/19/12 at 09:06 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.