Detroit Red Wings: 4 contracts that will not end fast enough

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Red Wings
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Darren Helm

The soon-to-be 34-year old forward Darren Helm got his first taste of the NHL back in 2007-08, averaging a mere seven-minutes of ice-time through a seven-game stint.  Head coach Mike Babcock opted to keep Helm on the postseason roster, which ended with the rookie forward’s name scribed into the Stanley Cup.

Helm averaged seven and a half minutes of work through 18 playoff games scoring a pair of goals and adding two assists totaling four points.  Talk about starting your NHL career on top of the mountain.

Helm and Valtteri Filppula are the lone holdovers from the final ‘glory year’ Red Wings, and unlike Filppula, Helm has remained in Detroit through the duration of his career.

The veteran winger has achieved 243 career points in 697 career games.  Helm’s high-water scoring season came in 2014-15 when he scored a career-high 15 goals and totaled 33 points.  He’s a forward that’s never averaged 16 minutes of ice-time per game in any of his 13 NHL seasons despite playing up and down Detroit’s lineup between the fourth line to playing alongside Dylan Larkin on the teams’ top unit.

Helm is entering the final year of his five-year agreement that averages $3.85 million per season.  Ken Holland rushed to overpay his bottom-six forward after negotiations had gone south and Helm sought employment elsewhere.

In 68 games last season, Helm recorded nine goals and 16 points while maintaining an above-average Corsi For Percentage of 48.1 compared to his Red Wings peers.  The fan in me will be sad to see Helm go, but it’s clearly time for the aging veteran with a limited offensive upside to move-on which will allow for additional roster space for Detroit’s pending youth movement.