The Red Wings took care of their most important restricted free agent on Tuesday morning. Darren Dreger reported the following, via Twitter:
Without scouring the twitterverse to see if this is already out…Darren Helm agrees to 4 year, $8.5 deal in Detroit.
The averages out to a cap hit of $2.125M until the conclusion of the 2015-16 season, when he’ll become an unrestricted free agent at the age of 29. The deal makes him the sixth highest paid forward (behind Dan Cleary’s 2.8; but in front of Todd Bertuzzi’s 2.075). Of players currently on the NHL roster, only Henrik Zetterberg (’21), Johan Franzen (’20), and Niklas Kronwall (’19) are signed beyond the term that Helm now has, leading us to believe that the team views him as an essential component.
The Wings have two restricted free agents left to deal with in the coming weeks: Kyle Quincey — who will likely command a similar term but will come in around the 3M mark — and Justin Abdelkader — who will take a deal smaller than Helm’s.
As of right now, the Detroit Red Wings have 19 players under contract for next season and have spent just a shade over $46M to do it. If the salary cap goes up to $70.3 (as it’s expected to do, pending the new CBA), they have a little more than $24M to spend on the four remaining roster spots. Quincey and Abdelkader will likely eat up two of those.
Photo Credit: Claus Andersen, Getty Images
Like I said over at WIIM, I think this is the perfect contract for Helm. He’s been a huge contributor for the Red Wings, but still has some growing he could do, namely being able to finish on his goal scoring opportunities. I haven’t been able to find his face off percentage, but I want him to be a big F.O. guy for us like Draper was.
Actually, I just want him to be the new version of Kris Draper in just about every way possible.
That being said, he was bit by the injury bug. Knee injuries can be nagging and hurt a player, especially a guy who relies on his speed. We’ve seen what freak wrist injuries can do (see Mike Modano and Pavel Datsyuk). So you don’t want to lock him in in case his performance tanks or the injuries continue to pile up and hurt his performance.
But 4 years from now, if he’s picked up his game where he needs to and stays healthy, I could see us tossing a 5-7 year contract his way. He’ll be 29, hopefully at the top of his game, and ready to become that much more of a staple on the team, and begin to mentor up and coming Kris Drapers/Darren Helms
great deal for both sides as i commented on KK. but…time to get some dead weight off this roster. seriously, it’s not just free agency. let’s trade two crapsters and a pick for somebody we can f’ing use…