This is speculation.
I remember reading George Malik tell of a time when he introduced himself to Mike Babcock as a blogger and Babcock asked him "Oh so you start fires?" I guess this is what he's talking about, but it's early September and my hockey brain is warming back up. Just as another reminder though, this is speculation.
Kyle and I were discussing the Red Wings over dinner last night and how potentially exciting the Darren Helm move up to the top line is. We were also discussing the room for players on the roster and the idea that teams are likely to get a bit more active in the trade market as camps take place and they start having to get serious about the kinds of roster moves they're still going to have to make.
We haven't touched on this much since early August, but the Red Wings still very much could use a right-shooting top-four defenseman and there are rumors out there about the possibility of those being available. There's also a name that's been brought up among Wings fans consistently when the discussion of tradeable assets narrows the field down to the glut of centers and then narrows it further to the centers who are expected to have actual trade value.
Darren Helm's name tops the list of players we might hate to see go, but would understand why it had to happen.
Now, if a GM and coach were interested in trying to dangle a piece like that, but there were also concerns about the value of that piece (perhaps caused by freak injury problems during some prime years which robbed him of a chance to better prove himself), then there's a pretty decent way to start rebuilding that value just before a trade. All you have to do is have your highly sought-after head coach tell the entire hockey world that he's confident enough in this player's ability that he's planning on using him on the team's top line.
Sure, you're perhaps losing a bit of value in also moving him to the wing, but I don't think you necessarily hurt a guy's value by saying he's not good enough to bump Pavel Datsyuk down a spot in the lineup nearly as much as you're helping it by saying you think he could do well placed right alongside one of the game's very best centers.
Once again, this is all speculation. I have absolutely zero evidence to support a theory like this. In fact, I'd argue the evidence based on the Red Wings' past behavior says that this is terribly unlikely (after all, when was the last time the Red Wings traded a roster regular? Jason Williams?). I'm just saying that if I were interested in trying to make a move that it's painfully obvious I've been trying to make for some time and I were trying to make sure I didn't have to pay the maximum premium for such a piece, it certainly would make a lot of sense to try and inflate the trade value of a player which could be considered expendable for such a return. Are the Wings really going to use Helm as a top line winger or are they trying to make him look better as trade bait? I'd like to think it's the former, but the latter wouldn't surprise me. We'll just have to wait and see.