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Red Wings UFA Darren Helm has optioned to test free agent market

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Detroit Red Wings at Tampa Bay Lightning Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

There have been many questions as to what is to come of the Red Wings crop of unrestricted free agents. The team has re-signed Drew Miller, optioned to part ways with Brad Richards, and Kyle Quincey, but a question mark has been hovering around Darren Helm’s name since the season closed out. Bill Roose, the team’s staff writer, dropped a very subtle tidbit that Darren Helm has optioned to test free agency on July 1st:

The Red Wings have three other players who can become unrestricted free agents this week. Defenseman Kyle Quincey and center Brad Richards will not be brought back to Detroit. However, Darren Helm has been offered a contract, but the speedy forward has chosen to hit the open market when the bell rings Friday.
Roose continues...

That’s news to us, and it’s very important. Darren Helm was one of those players Red Wings fans were getting angsty over, because there was a report that Ken Holland had tabled an offer to Helm earlier in the summer. Helm was drafted and developed by the Red Wings, and it was all but certain that management would likely give him some unfavorable contract terms.

Helm is a damn fine bottom-six player, but was misused in later years playing on top lines with players like Pavel Datsyuk. Wherever he ends up, he’ll be a great addition, so long as he is not gifted an albatross deal.