Darren Helm Signs with Colorado Avalanche

Darren Helm
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Darren Helm has left the only NHL team he’s played for in his 14-year career. The long time Detroit Red Wings centre is headed to the Colorado Avalanche. He signs a one-year deal worth $1 million. Darren Dreger was first with the news.

Colorado Avalanche Sign Darren Helm

The 34-year old veteran has built a 700+ game NHL career of being a reliable bottom-six player. Colorado knows what they’re getting with the versatile Helm. Over the last six seasons, he’s been a staple of the Red Wings’ penalty kill, and this past year has formed a decent trio on a bad team with Luke Glendening and Adam Erne. His obvious place now would be something similar with his new team. Helm does bring a Stanley Cup ring – earned in his first season – and has 82 games of playoff experience. On the other hand, he hasn’t been to the second season since 2016. This is another chance for him as well.

The only real knock against Helm is his difficulty staying healthy, a side effect of his physical game. In an ironic twist, the 2020-21 season was his healthiest in years before the league paused. He has missed a few games this season, but nothing serious. Any team trading for him is getting an insurance policy, not a scorer. He’s an extra piece at this point in his career. A good one, but the vital component.

What This Means for the Future

Helm is coming off of a five-year contract and is taking a pay cut from the $3.85 million he made on that deal. If anything, he’s looking to bookend his career perfectly: A Cup at the start, a Cup at the finish. With the Avalanche, he will certainly get a chance to do that.

For Detroit, it’s a continuation of their turnover. Youth is stepping into place after five years of missing the playoffs. While the possibility of Helm’s return down the road exists, he has likely played his last game with the Red Wings.

 

The Avalanche also added depth with a pair of two-way contracts for Dylan Sikura and Stefan Matteau.