DETROIT – Just another sign that Mike Modano will soon be a Detroit Red Wings occurred Wednesday.
Darren Helm, one of the Wings’ final two restricted free agents, inked a two-year deal with the club worth $1.825 million.
He’ll make $825,000 this year and $1 million the final year of the deal. The salary cap hit each year will be $912,500.
Wings’ management has yet to confirm the imitate signing of Modano, unlike the Westland native has done.
On Tuesday, Modano sent a text message to The Dallas Morning News saying that he had decided to play next season in Hockeytown.
Further confirmation came later that day by the ScoreBoard Monthly.
“It was a lot of back and forth internally, but I ultimately decided I wasn’t ready to hang up the skates so I’m going to Detroit,” he said.
The deal with Modano, who is scheduled to arrive back in the United States on Thursday from a golfing trip to Scotland, is expected to become official on Friday.
Justin Abdelkader is the other unrestricted free agent the Wings need to sign and that should happen quite soon.
The two were waiting on contracts to see whether or not the team would be able to sign Modano to a deal, which is expected to be for one year and worth $1.25 or $1.5 million.
Helm, 23, has become a fan favorite with his gritty play and speed.
In 75 games, he scored 11 goals and had 13 assists in his first full season with the Wings. He led the team in shorthanded goals with three and led the forwards in hits with 188.
Helm, who has 53 career Stanley Cup playoff games on his resume which is more than half of his regular season total of 98, was originally a fifth round pick, 132nd overall, of the Wings in the 2005 Entry Draft.
With the signing of Helm, 23, Detroit now has 13 forwards, not including Modano, seven defenseman and two goalies signed that pushes its salary cap hit to $57.34 million.
This year’s salary cap is $59.4 million.
The signing of Modano and Abdelkader will more than likely take the Wings over the cap. Teams are allowed to go 10-percent over the cap, but must be on it or under it by the start of the season.
Derek Meech, who’ll make $500,000 this season, has been mentioned as possibly being dealt before the season begins if he’s unable to win the sixth spot on defense.