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St. James discusses Darren Helm’s fit in Detroit

The Free Press's Helene St. James examines the "fit" of one Darren Helm on the Red Wings' roster this evening, duly noting that Helm fits quite well with the Wings, but may find a bigger paycheck and bigger role elsewhere:

his past season, Helm had 13 goals among 26 points in 77 games. His role was much more in flux, as he spent time on the top line — and the fourth line.

That instability was mentioned by Helm as something he wants to discuss with Holland and head coach Jeff Blashill before deciding whether to stay. Basically, Helm wants a handle on what his role will be. This is his first shot at unrestricted free agency, and Helm knows he will be coveted if he hits the free market. He has an asset — blazing speed — that many teams are looking to add, including Washington and St. Louis.

Helm’s last contract was four years and $8.5 million, an annual cap hit of $2.125 million.

On the Wings’ end, there is interest in Helm because he is a speedy forward in the prime of his career. He can slot onto any line and both special teams. With Datsyuk’s expected departure, there will be significant minutes up for grabs. And to reiterate about speed — it’s vital to today’s NHL, and the Wings are better for being able to field Helm along with Dylan Larkin, Andreas Athanasiou and Luke Glendening.

Much of it will hinge on cost. Helm just saw what Justin Abdelkader got (seven years, $29.75 million, $4.25-million cap hit) but Helm, who never has reached 20 goals, isn’t going to get a similar deal from the Wings.

St. James continues, and I get the feeling that Helm will have to take a bit of a hometown discount off of what the "open market" may bring to stay where he probably belongs.

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Comments

The_Firebird's avatar

The emergence of Athanasiou renders Helm superfluous. Sayounara to Helm, his salary can be better spent on equally fast players with hands.

Posted by The_Firebird on 06/06/16 at 08:01 PM ET

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The emergence of Athanasiou renders Helm superfluous. Sayounara to Helm, his salary can be better spent on equally fast players with hands.

This.

Sorry, meant to be a part of the first.  So hed leave to join another team whod like him to do what he didnt want to do here…

I imagine it is more about building some cohesion and ice time with similar line-mates.  Blashill seems to subscribe to the Babcock “lets change every line every 2 or 3 games” school of roster management so…

Posted by neffernin on 06/06/16 at 08:02 PM ET

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Much of it will hinge on cost. Helm just saw what Justin Abdelkader got (seven years, $29.75 million, $4.25-million cap hit) but Helm, who never has reached 20 goals, isn’t going to get a similar deal from the Wings.


Yeah.  I mean, come ON, Helmer.  In the last three seasons you’ve only had 40 goals in 180 games.  Where do you get off thinking you’re similar to Abdelkader, who had 50 goals in 220 games, huh?  Don’t you get it?  You average .21 goals per game.  Abdelkader averages .22 goals per game.  That’s what makes him a top-six $4.25M winger and you expendable.

Posted by captaineclectic on 06/06/16 at 08:05 PM ET

bigdee89's avatar

I think Helmer NOW considers himself a Top 6 player.

Thanks for the fun Helm, but we’re replacing you with cheaper, less injury prone and younger players. Best of luck

Posted by bigdee89 from The Great White North Eh? on 06/06/16 at 08:09 PM ET

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It would have to be attractive to go to a better team like Wash or St. Louis and probably be given that more defined role.

It sounds like Wash is letting go of Chimera and Mike Richards and wants to upgrade their bottom six. Third line center for a top contender sounds like a step up, all else being equal.

From the Wings’ standpoint, losing Filppula/Weiss/Brad Richards and now probably Datsyuk really puts a premium on center depth.

Zetterberg/Larkin
Athanasiou
Sheahan
Glendening

Nosek

is pretty thin, given the inevitable injuries, and top-two center is a lot of weight to put on your overplayed, aging captain and/or two near-rookies.

If Helm wants too much or just wants to leave, so be it. But Wings need another center.
And they will miss his speed.

Posted by Lefty30 on 06/06/16 at 08:17 PM ET

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By the way, in case it wasn’t clear, I’m NOT saying that Helm is a top six player or that he deserves an Abdelkader-sized deal.

I am instead saying that he is very comparable to Abdelkader in terms of production (and is a more useful overall player when healthy) and by overpaying Abdelkader to a ridiculous (literally, as in, people saw it and laughed) degree we actually kinda did snub Helm.

Posted by captaineclectic on 06/06/16 at 08:20 PM ET

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This tells me that Holland is incapable of change.  He’s going to be paralyzed on July 1st waiting to see if miller and helm will re-sign and then panic and re-sign Richards

Posted by bababooey on 06/06/16 at 08:48 PM ET

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Yeah.  I mean, come ON, Helmer.  In the last three seasons you’ve only had 40 goals in 180 games.  Where do you get off thinking you’re similar to Abdelkader, who had 50 goals in 220 games, huh?  Don’t you get it?  You average .21 goals per game.  Abdelkader averages .22 goals per game.  That’s what makes him a top-six $4.25M winger and you expendable.

Posted by captaineclectic on 06/06/16 at 08:05 PM ET

This, all night and day. I’d take Helm on my team over Abdelkader any day, but they definitely are similar players in terms of production.

The bottom line is both are suited for an elite checking third line. A third line of Abdelkader-Helm-Athanasiou could wreck absolute havoc on teams with their speed and forecheck. It’s a shame such a line was never assembled last year.

Posted by dmorley21 on 06/06/16 at 08:53 PM ET

bigfrog's avatar

If Helm wants too much or just wants to leave, so be it. But Wings need another center.
And they will miss his speed.

I think Helm goes to a higher bidder. probably Winnipeg.  confused

Posted by bigfrog on 06/06/16 at 09:45 PM ET

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I’m not a huge fan of Abdelkaders, but I’m taking him over Helm. The Wings have enough speedy guys and not enough of the guys who can stick up for those speedy guys and pot 20 goals.

Posted by TB1015 on 06/06/16 at 11:10 PM ET

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I’d rather have two open roster spots than Abdelkader on his contract or Helm on anything but an at least 25% pay cut.

Posted by Garth on 06/07/16 at 08:35 AM ET

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—-Helm will have to take a bit of a hometown discount
—-When was the last time a Red Wing took a hometown discount? Kronwall maybe?
Instead KH is overpaying his own UFAs in salary or term or both (Abby, E). Howard, Nyquist, Q probably got fair market value, but definitely did not take a hometown discount.
And as to Helm, as long as he is paid like a bottom 6 forward and used as a bottom 6 forward, he is a very useful player. He will probably get Kruger type of deal in the open market, which I think is 5 years at $3 mil per. Maybe even $3.5 mil per.

Posted by VPalmer on 06/07/16 at 08:43 AM ET

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—-He can slot onto any line and both special teams.
——and that is the type of thinking that is a big problem in my opinion.

Posted by VPalmer on 06/07/16 at 08:45 AM ET

Primis's avatar

I really miss the Helm from his first 2 seasons in the league, and I wish DET could get him back.

I still think they somehow ruined him by putting an onus on him to score more or something.  He shows he still has the wheels he had, but he doesn’t have the uber-aggressive defensive game he once had, and I wonder if he’s not constantly thinking about needing to contribute offensively instead.

That or maybe his concussions have made him tentative.

Posted by Primis on 06/07/16 at 08:56 AM ET

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That or maybe his concussions have made him tentative.

I wonder if the concussions have made him tentative, so the coaching staff tried to make him more of an offensive threat.

Whatever the reasoning it absolutely hasn’t worked.

Posted by Garth on 06/07/16 at 09:47 AM ET

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the coaching staff tried to make him more of an offensive threat.

The worst thing is to have a “confident” Helm. As soon as he starts thinking he is goal scorer/playmaker, he starts making mistakes and play the style he is not capable of playing. The main reason I was so against having Helm with Dats is because Helm had the puck all the time and played by himself on that line. When Helm is on a checking line and asked to do simple things, he is a very useful hockey player.

Posted by VPalmer on 06/07/16 at 10:37 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

I get the feeling that Helm will have to take a bit of a hometown discount off of what the “open market” may bring to stay where he probably belongs

When was the last time Holland got a player to sign a “hometown discount”?

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 06/07/16 at 11:10 AM ET

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The biggest mistake would be paying Helm equivalent of what he’d get on the open market. Teams almost always overpay on July 1 reaching for that piece that’ll make their team better.

Helm is a good player but he’s not a top 6 forward. However, someone is likely to pay him like he is. The cost and term just don’t fit in the Red Wings long term plans. He’s a great fit on some teams looking for a bit more speed. The Wings have plenty of what he has. AA is a fine replacement with a lot more upside.

Holland should have moved Helm at the trade deadline. Re-signing him, unless at a significant discount is a message to me that Holland still doesn’t get it. The Wings need to reshape, not hold onto the current mold.

Posted by evileye on 06/07/16 at 11:21 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Holland should have moved Helm at the trade deadline. Re-signing him, unless at a significant discount is a message to me that Holland still doesn’t get it. The Wings need to reshape, not hold onto the current mold.

Posted by evileye on 06/07/16 at 11:21 AM ET

More of Holland’s MO. He should have moved Brad Stuart when he knew his contract was up. He’s loyal to a fault.

 

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 06/07/16 at 12:29 PM ET

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Holland should have moved Helm at the trade deadline. Re-signing him, unless at a significant discount is a message to me that Holland still doesn’t get it. The Wings need to reshape, not hold onto the current mold.

He doesn’t get it, I have no idea why anyone gives this guy the benefit of the doubt, he reacts to what happens as opposed to being proactive and the biggest reason is because he is far too loyal.  He loves to overpay for mediocre talent and loves to underpay for legitimate players or even stars.

Posted by bababooey on 06/07/16 at 03:44 PM ET

SnarkinLarkin's avatar

I’m with @evileye. I was calling for the Wings to move Helm at the trade deadline on this forum then. They could’ve received a decent return and AA would’ve gotten more ice time. Win-win. It will be interesting to see if Holland will surprise us and make a deal or sign Stamkos, but we all know that Stamkos is a pie in the sky dream.

Posted by SnarkinLarkin on 06/07/16 at 05:35 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.