Will Darren be at the Helm?

DETROIT – Darren Helm would like for his dad, Gary, to see him on the ice and not sitting in the stands with him when the Wings visit Toronto Saturday night.

He’s got one more practice to see if that’s possible.

Helm skated for the first time Thursday since injuring his groin in practice last week.

“It would be nice, he’s come a long way,” Helm said. “He understands what kind of injury it is. He used to play hockey.

“He understands the bigger picture,” Helm added. “It would definitely be really nice to play with him in the crowd. Toronto and Chicago are two great venues.”

Helm’s dad is one of a number of fathers and other relatives or friends that left Thursday after practice to take part in the on the seventh annual fathers trip.

“If it feels unbelievable, maybe (I’ll play Saturday),” Helm said. “We’re playing back-to-back, that’s pretty tough jumping into back to backs with this kind of injury. Maybe Saturday off and shoot for Sunday.”

Helm left midway through practice, along with Tomas Holmstrom, who is also nursing an injured groin.

“I don’t think so, but there’s another practice (today), so we’ll see what happens,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said when asked if Helm or Holmstrom would play Saturday. “We’re set up to go without them.”

Helm had been shooting to return on Tuesday against Dallas and lobbied to practice on Monday. That request was denied and Helm stayed in town to receive treatment instead of travelling with the team.

“I didn’t really feel anything in my groin too much,” Helm said. “Just doing the one stretch, I felt it a little bit. For the first day on the ice in five or six days, I felt pretty good. We’ll see how it feels tomorrow. That’ll probably be a bigger indicator of how things went today.

“I wasn’t really pushing myself too hard out there,” Helm added. “A couple times I tried to get up to full speed, but I never really went after it too hard. I didn’t really feel it at all while I was skating.”

One part of the trip Helm is looking forward to is visiting the Hockey Hall of Fame.

“I’ve never really walked around there and looked at things,” Helm said. “I’m excited about it. I know my dad hasn’t been there. He’s excited about it. He shows his emotions quite highly. It should be fun to be there.

“We have a lot of history here,” Helm continued. “It’ll be interesting to see the history throughout the league. He’s (Lidstrom) got his own section probably. He should have a lot of stuff there.”

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