There were 23 players for Detroit in the 2008 playoffs. Twenty of them retired and three were later inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Pavel Datsyuk, 42, plays in the KHL. Only two of those Red Wings still play in the current NHL, and both still play in Detroit: Center Valtteri Filppula and Darren Helm.
After leaving Detroit as a free agent in 2013, Philppula skated with three other teams before returning for the 2019-20 season.
No helmet. He was a lifeguard in Detroit.
Darren Helm has seen better days: He won the Stanley Cup as a rookie with the Red Wings and returned to the Finals the following season.
Darren Helm has been through the worst: As a veteran, he saw the franchise break its lineup and take it back for a fourth season.
In the first two years, you talked about: It’ll be easy. A good team every year. He told me this week that he was going to make a long playoff run. But you will soon learn that this is not the case.
Rare is an NHL depth striker who has earned his spot on the team for 14 seasons. The rare player is the one who starts at the top of the mountain and then watches his team slide into the abyss.
I asked him a question I was sure had been asked more than once, by teammates, friends, and maybe even family: What the hell are you still doing at the Red Wings? Specifically, these Red Wings?
It was a little difficult. A little rocky, Helm said. There were no such moments when I spoke: I wish I wasn’t here or anywhere else. Of course there were times when I wanted us to win a little more. But I love Detroit.
This love began to blossom in the 2007-2008 season. Great character and incredible speed, said Dallas general manager Jim Nill, who took Helm in the fifth round in 2005 when he was with the Red Wings.
Helm played mostly in the AHL, but played seven games in the NHL before joining the Red Wings in the playoffs. He enters the locker room, where names like Lidstrom, Hasek, Chelios, Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Rafalsky, Osgood and Franz adorn the lockers.
It was really intimidating, Helm said. Not who they are, but what they did. They were all very welcoming guys. It made it easier for me to join the team. But look at this team, this team, there were so many incredible players.
It was handy to have a lawyer in the room to vouch for him. As with many Red Wings over the past decade, Darren McCarthy has his back.
They played together in AHL Grand Rapids; Helm is a rookie and McCarthy is a 36-year-old nearing the end of his career. McCarthy saw Helm as Chris Draper’s second teammate on the mill line, with a dynamic defense and a slightly less dynamic offense.
Here’s a joke: It’s Draper or the helmet, out! … And we’re about to go to commercial, McCarthy said with a laugh. But the best thing about Darren Helm? Eyes wide open, ears wide open, mouth closed.
Helm played well during those trips from the Red Wings to the Cup Final and absorbed all the lessons he could learn from his veteran teammates. But his biggest lesson was learning how fleeting success can be.
I was so naive. I don’t understand what’s going on. I just wanted to work as hard as I could and not let the guys down, he said. A big part of my success was not knowing what was at stake. I understand that playing for the Stanley Cup is a big deal. But I didn’t realize how important it was. Now that I’m in the league, I know how hard it was to win.
Helm last reached the playoffs in 2016. Shortly after, he signed a five-year contract extension. I thought we had hit a little bump in the road, but things would turn around; we would get back on the original path, Helm said. But that didn’t happen. And that surprised me a little bit, for sure.
The Red Wings were the worst team in hockey (.411 scoring percentage) during Helm’s five-year, $19.25 million contract. Other Detroit veterans were fired to save money and buy a jewelry box to rebuild. But Helm has stayed, and now he is counting on the final year of his contract.
As he contemplated wallowing in the bitterness of his annual fiasco, Helm turned his thoughts to his father. Now retired, he worked in a meat processing plant in Manitoba.
He didn’t like his job, Helm said. Most of the time he didn’t have fun, but he still got up early and worked hard. It was a lesson to me: Even when things aren’t going well, you get up, work hard and contribute. My father instilled this work ethic in me at a very young age. Whether good or bad, I feel I owe myself and this organization something for what they have done for me.
There are other reasons why Helm is stuck here. Former GM Ken Holland gave Helm, and his contract, a no-trade clause for the first three years of his contract. Helm’s wife and three daughters have settled in the community, and Helm plans to stay in Detroit after his NHL career ends.
But he’s thinking more about the next chapter of his career than the end.
I want to keep playing. Let’s see what happens. Maybe next year in free agency I won’t be able to control that, but this year I’m going to do my best to get some teams interested, he said.
– Who will be the best choice this summer?
– Early ranking of the top 32
prospects – The impact of COVID-19 on ranking.
Right now, he’s one of the few veterans in Detroit’s locker room willing to share all the wisdom of his unique journey from winning the Cup to watching the Red Wings improve their chances of winning the lottery.
I really hope the young people keep as much faith as possible. It’s harder for a young player to get on a team he doesn’t excel in. He said you might be offended.
Especially when you remember what the Detroit Red Wings stood for.
You get spoiled when you win the Cup, McCarthy said. Helm] has a unique story of how it ended. It connects the old with the new. Now he’s the one telling stories about how he played with the boys on the cup team, making them understand how to play the right way. So you don’t give up.
Jersey business of the week
Nature heals! Jersey Falls is back!
Coyotes legend #JerseyFoul (via @DN_Floyd) pic.twitter.com/5gidyE3zHs
– Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) March 11, 2021
From Danielle Floyd comes this Arizona Coyotes jersey by Pavel Datsyuk. Remember, his cap hit was traded from the Red Wings to the Coyotes in 2016 when Datsyuk went to the KHL. So, what makes us fall in love this time? Is it a violation because he never played for Arizona? Isn’t it a violation because he was technically on the team and didn’t go over the salary cap?
According to Jersey Fool’s statistics, Datsyuk was technically a member of the Coyotes and his number 13 was not retired by the team. Solution: No mistake.
Three things to know about Tom Wilson’s seven-game suspension
If Tom Wilson plays out his current seven games, the suspension will cost him 28 career games. Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images
1. I made the mistake of reading Tom Wilson’s reaction to Brandon Carlo’s success before I’d seen the play myself, which is a bit like reading Adam Sandler movie reviews before you’ve seen him. If the default setting for ratings is judgment, you should know what to expect.
In the case of Wilson’s hit, expected critics acted as if the missed touchdown was some sort of machete attack on the ice. They acted like Wilson shouldn’t play a single game this season, and maybe not next season either. A perfectly considered and normal response to a normal game, a response that is in no way tinged with a tendency to belittle the player.
Tom Wilson broke into the league in the 2013-14 season. Since then, he leads all NHL players with 1,052 penalty minutes.
Wilson has been suspended four times in 543 career NHL games, including 105 games from 2017-18 :
– 22. September 2017: Two preseason games, before a late hit on the Blues’ Robert Thomas in a preseason game.
– 3. October 2017: Four regular season games to land Sammy Blais of the Blues in a preseason game.
– 2. May 2018: Three playoff games before an illegal check on Pittsburgh Penguins manager Zach Aston-Reese, who suffered a broken jaw and concussion.
– 3. October 2018: 20 regular season games are reduced to 14 due to an appeal by the NHLPA to a referee for an illegal check on the Blues’ Oskar Sundqvist in a preseason game.
Wilson received no suspension after that punch to Sundquist.
Let’s get one thing straight: Tom Wilson should have been suspended for assaulting Carlo. It was a reckless play that resulted in an injury, and this by a player known for such play. The NHL agreed and decided to suspend Landing when it became clear that the hit did not meet the criteria of an illegal headshot. This is the first suspension of landing in a long time that doesn’t come with a bang. This precedent is irrelevant because it does not constitute a postulate of the rule itself. But, more to the point, that precedent didn’t matter here because the NHL would find a reason…..every reason… to suspend Tom Wilson.
Louder, for the people in the background: The NHL was going to suspend Tom Wilson. Just as he would suspend the Washington Capitals forward in November 2018 with 20 games. That number was cut to 14 games when the NHL Players’ Association appealed and ruled in favor of a player on its roster who was suspended for the fourth time for 105 games because another player on its roster was suspended. They could not justify an appeal for a seven-game suspension, so Wilson will serve his suspension.
But the next time you read an article complaining that the NHL lets players like Tom Wilson get away with minimal suspensions, look at the last time they blamed the players’ union, which fought to reduce those suspensions so they would apply to repeat offenders.
2. Two short lessons on additional disciplinary procedures related to the safety of NHL players.
First, it’s important to understand why it’s not a 20+ game suspension. Wilson’s two previous suspensions – one in May 2018 and the other in October 2018 – were for open headers against Zach Aston Reese of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Oscar Sundquist of the St. Louis Blues. Louis. It was a pattern of deliberate and predatory play. If it had been the same for Carlo, it would have been 40 games. But it was a different kind of impact, and a very different kind of suspension.
To put it in terms that were explained to me by a source in the union: Let’s say Wilson spit on Carlo and hurt him. A game that deserves a suspension, sure, but not part of the overall conduct. The mission of the Department of Player Safety is not only to punish these behaviors, but also to change them. The thing is, Wilson hasn’t thrown a punch this predatory since November 2018 – at least not one worthy of a suspension. George Parros noted in 2019 that Wilson seems to have changed his hitting technique. The suspension was a wake-up call.
Second, there is something else I learned during the Wilson debate about the length of the suspension: Section 18.1 of the NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement provides that players who repeatedly violate the league’s rules will be penalized more severely for each new violation. Player Safety interprets this to mean that the repeat offender will receive an additional penalty that is more severe than the first offender in the same game. A sort of hovering game over the replacement, if you will. For example, a first-time offender like the Wild’s Kevin Fiala got three games for pushing the Kings’ Matt Roy against the boards, while Wilson got seven games for a less expressive and dangerous hit because of his rap status.
3. Finally, a suggestion for the NHL and NHLPA regarding repeat offenders: Reconsider 18 months probation. A player is not considered a repeat offender for the purposes of the higher penalties if he has not been suspended for 18 months. As we have learned all too well, 18 months of hockey does not necessarily mean 18 months. The standard should not be several months. The standard should be games. A simple but effective change.
Winners and losers of the week
Winner: Winnipeg Jets
Congratulations to the Jets – after the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs took turns forming the Juggernaut this season, the newest team in the Canadian league. Enjoy this fleeting moment of worship, and we accept the free Tim Horton’s that go with it.
Loser: Columbus Blue Jackets
The Jackets entered Wednesday night’s game ranked sixth in the Central in points, with the Dallas Stars in the lead after a 3-6-1 beating in Columbus. This is a team in the middle of an identity crisis: His offense is only slightly better than last season, but his defense is by far the worst of the last four seasons (3.22 GAA). It’s not going well there. Something has to change.
Winner: Katerina Wu.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have hired Wu, 22, as a data specialist in the team’s hockey department. She reports to Sam Ventura, the Penguins’ director of hockey operations and research. In 2019, Wu participated in Carnegie Mellon University’s Sports Analytics Camp, where she studied data science and explored real-world applications of sports analytics, the team said in a statement. There she worked with Ventura, [Nick Citron] and the Pittsburgh Penguins for her final project, which introduced a new way to compare and project player performance between leagues. And now she works for the Penguins. How cool is that?
Loser: Travis Howe
Hello, Travis Howe, and no one else. The drama between @WheelingNailers and @FWKomets is hilarious pic.twitter.com/uo87CbbdS0
– Coach (@CoachFloozy) March 8, 2021
Fort Wayne Comets forward Howe was suspended for nine games. Why? By ScoutingTheRefs.com: Howe reportedly verbally flirted with Wheeling’s Tyler Drevich during warm-ups. After the players left the ice, Howe entered the Nailers’ locker room and continued a verbal altercation with the players and team personnel. This is generally frowned upon.
Winner: Darryl Sutter.
There were only two coaching positions that Sutter wanted to keep on his farm. The Chicago Blackhawks, where he was a captain and coach, and the Calgary Flames, where he will try to turn the porous defense of a team barely in the top 10 into a solid defensive team and a possession monster. Good luck to him, and we look forward to more great press conferences.
Loser: Brad Treliving
Sutter is the fifth head coach under Treliving. The fact that he had to make this decision speaks volumes about the state of the Flames and the pressure on this expensive team, suggesting that this is likely to be his last appointment.
Winner: Jonathan Toews
It wouldn’t be a party without a message from the captain. @JonathanToews shares a special message for Kaner before his big night. #1Kane pic.twitter.com/fgU29hDywc
– Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) March 10, 2021
Patrick Kane played his 1000th game this week. Game in the NHL, and Toews sent that message. Toews did not participate this season for personal reasons. Hopefully he’ll be back on the ice soon and the captain will be fine.
The five most disappointing teams of the NHL season. I don’t know if you can call it a disappointment that Dallas was a .500 team when Ben Bishop and Tyler Seguin went out, and that the season was shortened three times (twice because of COWID-19, once because of winter storms in Texas). I also think if your expectations for Buffalo were anything other than the last two in this division, that’s your problem.
Barriers to LGBTQ+ players in hockey. An interesting take on things, with caveats. If anything, it’s a handful, as it turns out, that the landscape of gay athletes in women’s hockey is so different from that of the men. I would love to hear what lessons they have learned from their experiences at different levels.
Good profile of John Cooper of the Tampa Bay Lightning, who is following an unconventional path to become a Stanley Cup winner in the NHL. Cooper had a small Maltese dog named Gretzky and played basketball games at Orr Lake, an artificial pond behind his house. ($)
Former KHL player Denis Kazionov and his family can count themselves lucky: His Porsche hit the wall of the third floor of a Moscow parking garage and would have kept on driving if it hadn’t gotten stuck in the wall.
Does the success of the Minnesota Wild mean a change in tactics for the trade deadline?
Watch live NHL games (and replays) every night this season on ESPN+. Click here to see the upcoming program and how to register.
The Alberta man is facing a dozen charges after he allegedly cheated several people out of more than $1.7 million by claiming to be an associate of NHL players. I mean, this is Canada. … If someone tells you they know NHL players, the percentages tell you they probably do, right?
Meet Paul Barber and his dangling claws that have gone viral. It all sounds a little chaotic, but it’s not.
A fond farewell to Walter Gretzky by the great Michael Farber.
From your friends on ESPN
An excellent piece by Emily Kaplan on the psychological impact of this unprecedented season on NHL players. It’s hard for me to describe it, I don’t know how to explain it. I don’t feel myself.
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