Forward Darren Helm signed a five-year contract to remain with the Detroit Red Wings on Friday. Financial terms were not released but the contract has a total value of $19.25 million for an average annual value of $3.85, according to MLive.com
Helm, 29, has played all or part of the past nine seasons in Detroit, which selected him in the fifth round (No. 132) of the 2005 NHL Draft, and has carved out a niche as a speedy, reliable No. 3 center.
His biggest problem has been injuries; Helm missed almost all of the 2012-13 season and was limited to 42 games in 2013-14. But he's been healthy for the past two seasons and had 28 goals and 59 points in 152 games to increase his career totals to 72 goals and 162 points in 443 games. Helm is an effective penalty-killer and has won more than 50 percent of his faceoffs in all five seasons when he's been healthy.
Helm had a more fixed role under former Red Wings coach Mike Babcock, who labeled him the best third-line center in the NHL. After Babcock left last spring to go to the Toronto Maple Leafs, new Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill used Helm on the wing in a top-six role as well as in the middle on a checking line. He finished with 13 goals and 26 points in 77 games, sometimes serving as a net-front presence for Pavel Datsyuk.