Tag Archives: darren helm

Helm hopes to be ready for season opener after latest injury setback


Darren Helm has been here before.

But as far as his past injuries goes, this latest setback is in a whole different category.

“I was thinking about my injuries lately,” Helm said Monday. “I feel like this isn’t really a hockey injury, just an unlucky situation that I was in. I’m going to chalk this one up to bad luck.

“I haven’t seen this happen ever, as long as I’ve been playing,” Helm continued. “(It’s) unfortunate. Bad luck. Move on.”

On Friday, just minutes into the first drill at training camp in Traverse City, Helm and prospect Jerome Verrier got crossed up during a drill and collided.

Helm suffered a Grade 1 shoulder separation and continues to go through concussion protocol. Verrier suffered a broken right leg and also a concussion.

“I didn’t even get my head up quick enough to see him,” Helm recalled. “I was kind of looking back for a pass. I was expecting him to be going up the other side. Somewhere between there, the drill got kind of messed up and both of us were going down the same lane.

“I remember everything,” Helm added. “I remember (coach Jeff Blashill) explained the drill, I remember going down, getting on the wall, coming up with (Luke Glendening), him passing it to me and just running into a wall and kind of just lying there for a little bit. I remember everything and I wasn’t knocked out so I’m happy about that.”

Helm is expected to miss two-to-four weeks.

“It wasn’t my ideal start for the season,” Helm said. “But move forward. I got some time. Better now, I guess, than playoffs down the road or down the stretch that I need to be playing. Hopefully I can get back for home opener. If not, then right after that. Just move forward.”

Helm has suffered concussions before, the last sidelined him roughly a month during the 20-13-14 season.

“I’ve been feeling a little off, a little bit of a headache,” Helm said. “I think we’re going to jump on the bike (Tuesday) and see how that feels, get the heart rate going, take it from there.

“For me personally, I think it would be my head,” added Helm when asked if the concussion or shoulder injury was his biggest concern. “I don’t want to keep getting concussions. Obviously that’s an issue down the road. But whatever one takes the longest to heal, that’s going to be the biggest concern.”

Helm has a laundry list of injuries which include groin, broken nose and knee.

He also lacerated tendons in his forearm when he was cut by a skate blade in the playoffs. He injured his back while lifting weights.

Helm played his most regular season games, 75, a year ago since appearing in 82 during the 2010-11 season.

“I think from what I know concussions are all different and there’s no set timeline in returning and I just hope that I can progress quickly and I can get back and play and that there’s no long-term issues,” Helm said. “I’ve had one, one diagnosed one, so I’m not completely in the dark when it comes to concussions. But everyone can be different and every one can have their own kind of timetable, sidelines and setbacks.”

The timing could not have been worse since Helm was scheduled to skate on a line with Tomas Tatar and Brad Richards, who the Wings signed on the first day of free agency.

“I was really looking forward to playing with them in camp and I’ll be just as excited to hopefully get in a spot to play with them again,” Helm said. “Camp’s usually a very important time of the year to kind of get into game mode, season mode, and kind of get going, so it’s going to take me probably a little bit extra time to get into that spot where I want to be. I hope I can do it quickly and play with them right away but if not, then I’ll have to try to work my way back into that position. That’s the way the game goes sometimes.”

Sheahan out ‘for a bit’; Datsyuk status for Saturday unknown

DETROIT >> The Wings will be without center Riley Sheahan for “for a bit” according to coach Mike Babcock.

Sheahan suffered an upper-body injury during Thursday’s 6-4 loss to the San Jose Sharks.

“Obviously he brings a lot, but someone else gets an opportunity,” Babcock said of Sheahan. “I made a policy over the last few years, there’s no sense in talking about the guys who aren’t here. We’ll talk about the guys who are.”

Sheahan had played every game this season, totaling 12 goals, 22 assists and a minus-2 rating.

Pavel Datsyuk took part on line drills at practice, centering a line with Darren Helm and Tomas Tatar on wing.

Babcock wasn’t sure if Datsyuk will play Saturday when the Wings host Tampa Bay.

He’s missed the last five games with a lower-body injury.

Erik Cole also didn’t practice. He missed Tuesday’s game with an upper-body injury.

“I don’t know,” Babcock said when asked about Cole’s status. “It’s pretty obvious you come here every day and ask me about these guys. When they’re ready to play they tell me. When they’re not … What do I do?”

Helm delivers an incredible delivery story

DETROIT >> There are baby birthing stories and then there are baby birthing stories.

Darren Helm has one of those baby birthing stories.

Helm and his girlfriend, Devon, welcomed their second daughter into the world from the backseat of the car as the Wings’ speedy forward tried desperately to get to the hospital on time.

He was five minutes way Providence Park Hospital.

“It was quite the experience, quite the ordeal,” Helm said. “But everything is good now. She came about seven days and five minutes too early.

“It was pretty intense,” Helm continued. “I’m extremely proud of what she did. The courage and the pain that she had to go through is amazing. How she did that I’m so proud of her, proud of the baby. It was a pretty good day when everything was kind of cleared and everyone was feeling pretty good.”

The delivery occurred at 2:15 a.m., Monday.

“It’s just a huge relief,” Helm said. “Five minutes too late to the hospital things could have got a lot worse, but luckily, fortunately, things worked out in the right way for us. Couldn’t be happier with the way things turned out and we have a pretty funny story now that we think about it.

“I don’t think I’ve been more nervous in my life and scared,” Helm continued. “I didn’t really have a chance to think about it until after. During, obviously, I was petrified, but things ended up working out great. Took me a good four to five (hours) … the whole day to calm down. It was an early delivery, so the whole day I was on edge just thinking about it.”

His daughter, Rylee Clare (six pounds, 10 ounces), and girlfriend were expected back home Tuesday afternoon.

“Right now I’m here,” Helm said after the Wings’ morning skate prior to their game Tuesday night at home against the Arizona Coyotes. “In five minutes my mind is going to be focused about getting home.”

A tired Helm was in bed around 11 p.m. after the team had just beaten the St. Louis Blues in overtime.

“She kind of woke me up and told me things were kind of happening, but not really fast,” Helm recalled. “So we kind of took our time. Should have been a little more (quicker) I guess.

“Devon kept on saying that she had the urge to push and they said when the baby’s ready, the baby’s ready,” Helm continued. “She can’t really control much about it. We tried to make it there. She tried to hold her back. But they said it happens every once in a while, but not often. They’ve always told us the second one comes quicker, but we didn’t expect it to be that quick.”

Helm’s other daughter, Reece, is three and a half years old.

“We called ahead and told them before we left,” Helm said. “But it was pretty much as we were leaving where things kicked into high gear. I went to the ER and they were ready. Then the people that we called came over. It didn’t take us too long to get us back into the actual baby room. She was cleaned up. Got to cut the cord and everything was fine.”

This birth really put a lot of things into perspective for Helm.

“I definitely haven’t been thinking about hockey for the last … this is probably the first time I thought about hockey,” Helm said. “Yeah, my mind is definitely on her and getting home. It will be the first time she’s home. It’s such a great feeling. Real proud of Devon and what she did.

“My older daughter is just so happy and excited to be a big sister and helping her out,” Helm continued. “She’s already trying to help us with changing diapers and giving her hugs. She couldn’t wait to get to the hospital (Monday). She was singing a little ‘I’m Excited’ song on the way to the room. She’s pumped. I think everyone is just real excited.”

Helm, who missed practice Monday, will be in the lineup Tuesday.

“Can you just imagine,” Wings coach Mike Babcock asked. “We’ve had a family program before home games all year basically, where guys present. He’s already done it but he sat down today and presented the story and the guys loved it and it was a lot of fun to hear him talk.

“Is that awesome or what? It’s unbelievable that that could still happen,” Babcock continued. “I just think back to many moons ago when we had ours, I can just imagine the urgency and the tension right there.”

Helm could miss ‘a bit of time’ with upper-body injury

DETROIT >> Darren Helm’s injury free life appears to be no more.

Helm was injured in the first period of Saturday’s over the Nashville Predators.

“It appears he’s out for a bit of time,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “I have no idea until we know the severity of the injury.”

Helm is scheduled to have an MRI performed Monday.

Holland said it’s an upper body injury.

Helm was hit by Nashville’s Seth Jones behind the net and his head hit the top of the dasher boards.

Helm, who has missed time over the past few seasons with numerous injuries, including groin, concussion, forearm, back and knee, had appeared in all 61 games this season.

Wings set to debut their ‘all center’ line tonight against Flyers

DETROIT >> The center of attention, so to speak, in Wednesday’s Wings home game against the Philadelphia Flyers will be their third line.

Pavel Datsyuk will center Darren Helm and Stephen Weiss.

All three are natural centers.

“We might be the only line in the NHL with three natural centers, so we should have success on the dot, hopefully, and some pretty good skill with Pav and Weisser,” Helm said. “We have to find a way to click pretty early.

“There are definitely some different aspects to our games that could gel together if we find a way to click, and it is exciting for me at least, playing with those two skilled, confident guys,” Helm continued. “If we find a way to click or gel it will be fun and pretty exciting.”

Datsyuk has missed his four straight games with a groin injury and six of the last eight.

“It’s very important for us to have him back,” Weiss said. “It’s a big boost to our lineup to have him back. Anytime he misses a game, it seems like it’s too long.”

Former Wing Kris Draper said playing on a line with Datsyuk was like winning the lottery.

“It definitely feels that way,” Weiss said. “When I saw the sheet this morning I had a little grin on my face. He makes the game a lot easier for the guys that play around him.”

Datsyuk is considered one of the best two-way players in the game if not the best.

“His ability to get the puck back is just one of the skill sets that separate him from a lot of other guys in the league, his ability to play defensively and steal pucks and turn it into offense,” Weiss said.

Datsyuk has been limited to 45 games in 2013-14 due to a knee injury and concussion. This season he’s already missed 11 of 21 games due to a separated shoulder and groin pull.

“He’s a guy I grew up watching, really and now to have a chance to play with him, it’s pretty cool,” Weiss said. “But you can’t be worried about that too much. I’ve just got to worry about what I’ve got to do and hopefully we can find some chemistry, the three of us.”

Datsyuk has five goals and six assists in 10 games this season.

“I thought initially it took him a bit to get back and then he was on fire and got hurt again,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “The big thing for Pav is as you get a little older in your career your physical fitness and the amount of care you take in keeping your body healthy is so important.

“He’s a high-end player for us,” Babcock continued. “I haven’t put him with (Henrik Zetterberg) on purpose just because … if he gets going maybe I’ll do that but right now leave him where he is and play him on a separate power play. I don’t think you can ever go wrong with having Datsyuk in your lineup.”

Not only is the line all centers, but they’ve all missed significant playing time over the past three seasons, combining to miss 306 regular-season games over that span – Weiss (140), Helm (83), Datsyuk (83).

Weiss had two goals in his return to the lineup Monday, doubling his output since joining the Wings two off-seasons ago.

“All signs are pointing towards being over the hump,” Weiss said.

Datsyuk a game-time decision Wednesday; centered a line with Helm and Weiss in practice

DETROIT >> From the looks of things, Pavel Datsyuk is set to return to the Wings’ lineup.

And it could come as early as Wednesday when the Detroit hosts the Philadelphia Flyers at Joe Louis Arena.

“I feel good,” Datsyuk said after practice Tuesday. “We’ll see (Wednesday) morning. I’m happy to skate full practice with team.”

Datsyuk has missed his four straight games with a groin injury and six of the last eight.

“Be better myself,” Datsyuk said when asked what more he felt he needed to do before declaring himself fit to go. “No (pain), it’s fine. Everything is fine so far. I need a little bit (of) pace with team, a little bit. Everybody’s flying.”

Datsyuk centered a line with Darren Helm and Stephen Weiss as wingers. All three players are centers.

Datsyuk also doesn’t want to be in-and-out of the lineup due to a lingering injury.
“It’s kind of difficult, what happened first time, looked like I was ready, but jumped in too early,” Datsyuk said.

Weiss nets a pair in Wings’ win over Senators; he said he ‘never lost confidence’

DETROIT >> If Stephen Weiss was looking for a glimmer of hope that he’s still the point-producing forward the Wings signed two offseasons ago, he got just that Monday night at Joe Louis Arena.

Weiss scored twice in Detroit’s 4-3 win over the Ottawa Senators.

It was just his second game this season with the Wings.

Due to a lingering groin injury that developed into a sports hernia, Weiss has played in just 28 since the start of 2013.

It was also his first goal with the Wings since Oct. 14, 2013 and his first two-goal game since Feb. 26, 2012 while still with the Florida Panthers.

“I never lost confidence,” Weiss said. “It was just a matter of when you haven’t played in so long, coach has a tough time putting you in situations where you’ve always played and rightfully so. Even in practice, you’re not playing power play and getting those reps I have throughout my career. It’s just a matter of sticking with it. Hopefully get a break here or there to stay in the lineup for a couple games, build some momentum and off you go.”

Weiss had a goal in each of his conditioning games this past weekend with Grand Rapids.

“Scoring,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said when asked what Weiss can add to the lineup. “The guy’s got 60 points in the league a ton of times. That doesn’t happen by accident. But in your career, when you get hurt and you miss a couple of years, there’s no guarantee you’re getting it back.

“Weisser has played (three) games, two in the American League, and he’s got (four) goals,” Babcock continued. “Scoring is scoring. Not many guys can do that. We acquired him initially because we thought he could help us score and he spent two years on IR basically. Hopefully he can get his confidence back and get going.”

Weiss, 31, managed to play just 26 games last season totaling two goals, two assists and a minus-4. He had sport hernia surgery on Dec. 23 and then a second procedure on April 21 to repair an issue with scar tissue.

“I felt good physically,” said Weiss, who had 10:42 of ice time Monday. “We didn’t play a ton, but when I was out there I would still like to create more. It was a decent start. I felt healthy, had good legs and hopefully it just keeps snowballing in that direction.”

Weiss drove to the net hard and chipped in a loose puck over Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson’s right shoulder to put the Wings up 3-1 just past the halfway point of the game.

“That’s where you’re going to score goals,” Weiss said. “It was nice having pucks lying around there. Sometimes you go there and they’re going off skates and away from you and tonight they were there lying there for me. It’s nice to get those breaks.”

His second goal came in similar fashion, positioning himself in front of Anderson. After Anderson made a right pad save on Darren Helm, Weiss calmly backhanded a shot over the goal line.

“This is the best league in the world,” said Weiss, who played left wing on a line with Tomas Jurco and centered by Darren Helm. “It’s hard enough when you’re in a groove and playing well never mind when you’ve missed so many games, you’re in, you’re out, you’re in, you’re out. You’re playing different positions. It’s tough to do what you’ve done throughout your career.

“Like I said, it felt good to be in the lineup, it was nice to get a couple of goals and get the win,” Weiss added. “But I’ve still got a lot of work to do.”

Weiss had a rough preseason, registering just an assist and was a minus-4 in six games.

“Anytime you can score it gives you confidence,” Weiss said. “You remember how to do it. I always said it takes a bounce or something to go your way and then it starts snowballing. Hockey is funny that way. You see if with a lot of guys. To get those two down (in Grand Rapids) was huge. I had some bounces and hopefully I’ll keep scoring.”

The Wings targeted Weiss on the first day of free agency two off-seasons ago and landed the center for a hefty five-year deal worth $24.5 million.

Weiss has had scored 20 or more goals four times in his last seven seasons in Florida.