The Detroit Red Wings are known for their consistency, but they are getting the wrong kind from Darren Helm. The outstanding two-way center has only played in three hockey games since January of the 2011-12 season. He skated in one contest in 2012-13 before getting shut down.
There was some hope that he’d be able to play coming out of training camp but he suffered a set back. The Wings were hoping to get Helm back after a two-game conditioning stint with the Grand Rapids Griffins in the AHL. Helm has tweaked his nagging groin once again, and won’t make his season debut against the New York Rangers as was hoped.
Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press published an update from general manager Ken Holland:
He hurt his groin Friday night in Grand Rapids. His groin bothered him but not enough to not play Saturday. We exchanged texts on Sunday; he thought he was fine. He went on the ice Monday, came off, felt more pain. Obviously, he won’t be ready to go Saturday.
While it’s sad to see a quality player and person like Helm pinned down by injury problems, it’s unlikely coach Mike Babcock didn’t have a backup plan going into Saturday’s contest. Not with Helm’s recent injury history.
He’ll remain on the IR for the time being. There is no timetable for his return yet.