Riding on the (undoubtedly injured) shoulders of the Wings' loss to the Flyers and the concurrent panic that drives into the hearts of fans after watching a winning streak come crashing to such an inglorious halt, the Red Wings have even more bad news.
Ken Holland said Darren Helm is out for the weekend, and they'll see how he feels on Monday.— Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) December 5, 2013
So there's that.
After a solid month of proving to people that he hadn't died, Helm goes back to the trainer's room with 15 games played and 10 points scored, after establishing that he's capable of playing as a 2nd line center. According to reports, Helm will have an MRI on his shoulder to determine how much time he's going to miss.
On the speculative side, there's nothing completely obvious about what might have happened, as was the case with Danny DeKeyser and the news that he would miss 3-6 weeks. Then again, there wasn't a terribly obvious moment when Jonathan Ericsson suffered the shoulder injury that ended up with him going on LTIR either (and making temporary room for Darren Helm to return to the lineup in the process).
Wednesday's game against the Flyers was as physical as one would expect and Helm took his fair share of punishment, not to mention any carryover punishment from previous games, like the Islanders game where Helm collided with goalie Kevin Poulin on his way to scoring a shorthanded goal and flipped awkwardly before sliding into the boards.
At this point, everything's in the air. Todd Bertuzzi told the press that he'd be ready to play for Friday's game against the Devils, so that temporarily solves the issue of direct roster replacement. As a result, the four centers at practice this morning were Franzen (with Nyquist and Bertuzzi), Weiss (with Abdelkader and Alfredsson), Andersson (centering Tatar and Miller), and Emmerton (with Cleary and Samuelsson).
If Helm is out long-term, he can be placed back on LTIR and the Wings can take advantage of being able to replace his $2.125M cap hit with a different player, but this still remains an injury-juggling solution to the cap space problem. It would clear enough for Danny Dekeyser's return, as well as enough to call up another forward, but that solution only lasts as long as injuries do.
We'll update with more information as it comes available.
[UPDATE 3:20pm from Helene St. James]
Per Ken Holland, MRI showed #RedWings Darren Helm has fluid in shoulder, out for weekend (NJD, FLA), re-evaluate Monday.— Helene St. James (@HeleneStJames) December 5, 2013