Helm's season is over after arm surgery

April 12, 2012

The Detroit Red Wings will have to find a way to win in the playoffs without Darren Helm.

The team announced Thursday that Helm underwent successful surgery Wednesday night to repair lacerated tendons in his right forearm and will miss the rest of the playoffs.

"He's an important guy," Wings general manager Ken Holland told MLive.com. "We played without him for the last 10 games. I'm disappointed for Darren because he worked real hard to be back for the playoffs. He plays with tremendous passion and determination. I know how much he loves this game. It's a big loss, but that's playoff hockey."

Helm is expected to make a full recovery in time for training camp in September.

Dr. Douglas Weikert performed the surgery at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Helm, who just returned to the ice after missing the last 10 games of the regular season with a knee injury, played in only 3:08 of the first period of Game 1 before he was injured.

"Anytime you see a guy going through that, first game back and three minutes in shift time, boom something like that happens, it’s awful," Jimmy Howard said. "I just hope he makes a speedy recovery."

Helm checked Nashville's Alex Radulov in the corner, Radulov fell and his skate came up and hit Helm's forearm.

Helm immediately threw off his glove and dropped his stick and left the ice to go to the dressing room.

Radulov did not know until the day after that Helm had been seriously hurt.

"I just saw it this morning," Radulov said. "It’s obviously awful, I didn’t mean to do anything, he came into hit me, it’s hockey and it’s awful. A bad injury and hopefully he will be OK."

It's a blow for the Wings and coach Mike Babcock, who often rely on Helm's speed on the penalty kill and forecheck.

"Tough for the kid, he's a great kid, he plays hard, he's an important part of our team," Babcock said. "I feel bad for Helmer. He's a big part of our club. We're very thankful there was no nerve damage and so I think that's the most important thing, he's going to get well and have a summer to train and get back at it in the fall."

The Wings are unfortunately used to dealing with injuries.

"When we lost all these players the last 10-12 games it was an opportunity for coaches to see different guys," Holland said. "Mike Babcock tried some combinations.

“Abby (Justin Abdelkader) stepped up and did a good job. The team did a good job hanging in after the first period last night."

Babcock said rookie Gustav Nyquist would play in Game 2.

"It's like all important players you miss, you don't fill their role, you get someone else to do what they do," Babcock said. "We'd like our bottom six to play more so ideally the game will be that way tomorrow that we can do that. (Cory) Emmerton's going to play in one hole and Abdelkader's going to play in the other hole. I thought Abdelkader played well (Wednesday) night."