How far can foot speed take you in the game of hockey? Darren Helm knows that answer, as his best trait netted him $226,471 per point in an abbreviated 2016-17 campaign. The Manitoba native was limited by shoulder and lower-body injuries, ultimately managing only eight goals and nine assists over 50 games. Fantasy owners can appreciate his proficiency on the penalty kill -- where he's averaged 1:47 of ice time over the past three seasons -- but his Corsi For percentage (a measure of possession value) was substandard at 48.0 percent, and an evident lack of patience led to a subpar 8.2 shooting percentage. Given the depth at the center position, you can likely acquire Helm for pennies on the dollar this season, but there's a good chance that pennies are exactly what he's worth in most fantasy leagues.
Helm opened the scoring with a power-play tally in Wednesday's 6-5 overtime exhibition loss to the Penguins. The fleet-footed pivot is set to make $3.85 million annually with a no-trade clause through the 2020-21 season. He's earned a consistent role on the penalty kill, but the power-play ice time has fallen a bit since the Red Wings made the coaching switch from Mike Babcock to Jeff Blashill two years ago. Helm added eight goals and nine assists over 50 games of an injury-plagued 2016-17, and there's only so much room for him to provide fantasy utility as a third-liner who seldom dips into the top six.
Helm will officially be an option for the Golden Knights in the expansion draft, Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press reports. The NHL released the list of players that will be protected for each team, but Helm was a notable exclusion for the Red Wings. While the Red Wings value his speed and shorthanded contributions, only seven skaters could be retained and most of those were naturally top-six guys. Helm is set to make $3.85 million in each of the next three seasons, so the next step for Vegas is to determine whether that cap hit would be worth absorbing in conjunction with whomever else they bring on.
Helm (lower body) took line rushes prior to Monday's road matchup with the Hurricanes, indicating that he will return to the lineup after a four-game absence, Ansar Khan of MLive.com reports. Barring an expected late change, Helm will play Monday night's game and skate on Detroit's fourth line with Drew Miller and Luke Glendening. He'll look to end his seven-game point-less streak during which he's accumulated a minus-5 rating and 12 shots on goal.
Helm (lower body) will be a game-time decision for Monday's matchup with the Hurricanes. If Helm is sidelined against Carolina, it would mark his fifth consecutive missed contest. Prior to getting hurt, the winger was bogged down in a seven-game pointless streak, during which time he managed two PIM, a pair of blocked shots, and 17 hits. With only eight games remaining, it seems doubtful the veteran will reach the 20-point mark this season.
Helm (lower body) will not play in Sunday's game against the Wild. Helm was skating well during pregame warmups, but didn't take part in the team's line rushes. It marks his fourth straight absence from the lineup, though his absence shouldn't be felt in many formats given his lack of scoring (eight goals, five assists) in 42 games for the Red Wings this season. The veteran's next chance to rejoin the lineup arrives Monday against the Hurricanes, an outcome that seems plausible given his level of participation in warmups Sunday.
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