A collision on the opening day of Red Wings training camp has banged up Darren Helm more than originally though. Helm, 28, was held out of training camp as part of concussion protocol, but Detroit GM Ken Holland announced Helm has a slightly separated shoulder and will miss 2-4 weeks.
Detroit Red Wings winger Darren Helm has had a hard time staying healthy over the past four seasons and already it appears Helm will be missing some time once the 2015-16 campaign gets underway.
At the opening day of Red Wings training camp Friday, Helm, 28, collided viciously with undrafted winger Jerome Verrier, 21.
“They were both going at a pretty high speed and they were both going in an opposite direction,” Holland said. “Somebody went in the wrong lane and they were both going at full speed. Neither had a chance to brace, they just collided.”
Following the collision, Verrier needed to be stretchered off the ice and news came that he had fractured his right tibia, an injury that will keep him out of action for the entire season. For Helm, the initial diagnosis was that he would be held out of camp as part of concussion protocol, but it appears there’s more to his injury.
According to Red Wings GM Ken Holland, the impact of the wreck with Verrier resulted in a “slight shoulder separation” for Helm which will cause the veteran winger to miss between 2-4 weeks. The club also said Helm does, indeed, have a concussion.
“I don’t think the shoulder will hold him back any longer than whatever coming back from a concussion is,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “That’s my understanding.”
Detroit believes they may be without Helm through the first week of the regular season, but the concussion has to be worrisome for the Red Wings. No matter the severity of the concussion — original reports had him listed as day-to-day — it is Helm’s second head injury in little more than a year. The Red Wings are just now getting Johan Franzen back after the 35-year-old suffered two concussions over a similar timeframe.
The 2015-16 campaign was set to be a big one for Helm and that he’s starting injured is a terrible sign. Helm entered training camp in the final year of a four-year, $8.5-million contract with the Red Wings and will be eligible for unrestricted free agency for the first time in his career next summer. In 2014-15, Helm set a career-high with 15 goals and 33 points and contributed three assists in seven post-season games. This season will be an important one to set up Helm for his next deal.
Over his eight-year career, he has skated in 366 NHL contests and notched 59 goals and 136 points, but, according to the Red Wings, he has missed 107 of the past 225 regular season games. Since 2011-12, Helm’s injuries have run the gamut from a sprained knee to lacerated forearm. He also missed all but one game of the 2012-13 campaign with a back injury.