Red Wings Roster Preview: Darren Helm

The boys are back! Literally. Like many others before him, and many more to come, “Former UFA” Darren Helm returns to the Wings for 2016-17. Classic Ken Holland, am I right????

Even though it seems like a bad book we’ve read before, let’s take a look to see where Darren Helm fits in for this upcoming season. (Hint: it’s probably not much different to what we’ve seen before).

Though Darren Helm’s contract might not overly favourable to many, it’s still imperative to analyze his value to the team for the upcoming year.

Hey, at least he’s a team veteran, right?


Helm played for the Wings. Then again. Then again and again and again. And again. And he played for the Wings so many times, well, it made sense for him to do so again. 

If you’ve been watching the Wings for any length of time, you’re probably already quite grounded in your opinions for Darren Helm, who signed a five-year deal this offseason that expires in 2021 and carries an AAV of $3.85 million.

But in case you want it, here’s his official hockeydb bio:

Center — shoots L

Born Jan 21 1987 — St. Andrews, MAN 
[29 yrs. ago] 


Screenshot 2016-09-16 at 7.57.03 PM

Well, 33 points is definitely a good career high to sign onto a five-year deal.


Screenshot 2016-09-16 at 7.37.45 PM

Well if that isn’t the greatest collection of superstars I’ve ever seen, I don’t know what is.

And on the other side of the equation, his contract comparables, via recent Nation Network acquisition General Fanager:

Screenshot 2016-09-16 at 7.47.50 PM


There’s only two realistic possibilities for this season.

  • If history repeats itself, Helm will continue in the team’s bottom six as a fairly average forward.
  • If history doesn’t repeat itself, Helm will will move into a larger role, which would probably make even less sense.

We’ve had a decent enough sample size to figure out Helm, and it’s highly unlikely he’s bound to get much better than he already is. Unless there’s an unreal late bloomer hidden in his body somewhere, it’s hard to really see him as anything other than a third-line forward for this team.

From our own Kyle Krische’s Year in Review:

All of his basic stats point to a third line player. This is why we’ve warmed up so much to the guy. When the Wings were a true offensive threat, Helm stayed on the third line and he did the dirty work. He killed penalties, he outworked everyone on the ice and occasionally he’d inject that fire in the team with a gritty goal. But then his possession numbers started to show maybe this was a guy ready for a top six role

Also in this series: