Helm signed a five-year, $19.25 million contract extension with Detroit on Friday, Ansar Khan of MLive.com reports. Helm will cost the Wings $3.85 annually over the life of the deal. That may seem like a lot for a guy fighting for a spot in the top-six group of forwards, but Helm adds value to the club as a penalty-killing specialist. He's been in the NHL for nine years -- exclusively with the Wings -- having tallied 162 points (72 goals, 90 assists) in 443 regular-season games.
Helm likely would command more than $3 million per season if he chooses to test the open market as an unrestricted free agent this summer, the Detroit Free Press reports. Helm's expiring four-year deal with the Red Wings came with an average annual value of $2.125 million, and many believe it will be tough for general manager Ken Holland to offer the fleet-footed winger a substantial raise. As feared, Pavel Datsyuk left a $7.5 million cap hit on the books upon announcing that he will forgo the final year of his contract Saturday -- obviously that factors into the amount of money Holland can dangle in front of Helm, but another consideration for the 29-year-old is that he could see an expanded role with Datsyuk out of the picture. Contract talks are ongoing.
The Red Wings have offered Helm a new contract, though a decision is not likely to be made for a few weeks, MLive.com reports. Helm and Drew Miller are both pending unrestricted free agents, though Miller should be taken care of first. Helm's contract likely will be more complex as he's due for a raise after banking $2.5 million on the back end of a four-year deal. If the Wings have any trouble agreeing to terms on a contract, Helm presumably would draw interest to any club needing a trailblazer who can be used in shorthanded situations. From a fantasy perspective, he's best used in deep leagues having fallen in the range of 20-35 points per season over nine years of service time in the NHL.
Helm, a pending unrestricted free agent, would like to sign a contract extension with the Red Wings, but under the condition that he receives an increase in pay, MLive.com reports. Helm earned $2.5 million last season on the back end of a four-year deal. He's the type of player who doesn't dominate in any one area but is proficient in many, including the penalty kill. With the Red Wings announcing that they will let Brad Richards walk as an unrestricted free agent, that can only help the speedy Helm get the raise and extension.
Helm scored his first postseason point with a goal in Wednesday's 3-2 Game 4 loss to the Lightning. Helm was a minus-2 with no points in the three previous playoff games, but made the most of his 10:18 of ice time Wednesday. Helm did his part on Wednesday, but the top-line scorers need to step up for the Wings' season not to end in Game 5 on Thursday.
Last 7 Games
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