After yesterday’s frenzy of activity, we’ve kind of been waiting around all day for something interesting to happen in the hockey world. We got reports from James Mirtle earlier that Colorado was looking into somethings and some big names like Landeskog and Barrie were thrown about, but as of right now, nothing has come of it.
Other than that, we’ve got a report from LeBrun that indicates the bidding war for Milan Lucic may also include Dallas and Montreal. While I still think Edmonton might be the front-runner, I’m getting farther and farther away from the belief that Lucic is going to sign to a deal I’d be happy with.
In Red Wings land?
Red Wings still in talks with Darren Helm. If deal can't get done, he's UFA tomorrow.— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) June 30, 2016
I guess it’s not surprising that this would happen and doesn’t run counter to anything that we’ve heard. The Darren Helm situation has still kind of been on the backburner in terms of a possibility that the Red Wings would end up re-signing him.
For what it’s worth, Darren Helm is still a very capable hockey player and he’s going to do good hockey things for whatever team he’s on next season. The scary thing here isn’t what he lacks but more what he represents: status quo.
Trying to pin down Darren Helm’s role with the team is something of a challenge. He came up as a center, but lately has played more scoring-line winger. In terms of top-6 wingers, the Red Wings are in a position to put other people in those positions in trying to get the best out of them. In terms of depth centers, he’s not quite good enough to be the team’s #2 guy and a spot as the 3C likely just means somebody else who should be in that role (like Riley Sheahan or Andreas Athanasiou) gets bumped around.
Most-frightening about the concept of trying to bring Darren Helm back is that it signals the possibility that the Wings have spent a good portion of the pre-free agency week learning that their standing in the NHL in terms of trades with other teams and ability to land free agents is not particularly close to good right now.
While getting Darren Helm back for a decently short contract that might even be a little bit of an overpayment is probably better for the Red Wings than giving seven-year contracts to guys on the wrong side of 30, it’s certainly looking a lot like the Wings like the team that couldn’t get things done last season more than they should and that they’re committing themselves to putting as much of that team back together as possible still.