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Helm recovering, but angry over another injury

by Brian Hedger /

DETROIT -- Darren Helm's right forearm has been surgically repaired, but that's about the only good news from the injured Detroit Red Wings center's perspective.

After returning from a sprained knee that forced him to miss the final 10 games of the regular season, Helm had tendons in his right arm cut by the skate blade of Nashville's Alexander Radulov early in Game 1 of the teams' Western Conference Quarterfinals series and will miss the remainder of the playoffs.

"I'm not really too happy with anything that's going on right now," said Helm, who visibly was upset while meeting with reporters Monday for the first time since the incident happened. "I haven't really gotten over what happened. I'm still pretty angry with the situation."

Darren Helm
Darren Helm
Center - DET
GOALS: 0 | ASST: 0 | PTS: 0
SOG: 0 | +/-: 0
His anger isn't directed toward Radulov, just the bad luck he's gone through the last month.

"It still hurts quite a bit," Helm said of his arm. "Pain-wise, it still hurts a lot. I have to watch again. That's probably the worst thing of all. The way I tried to battle back after my knee and to come back and have this happen in the first period, it's pretty tough."

During the play, Helm had knocked Radulov backward with a clean hit but was injured when Radulov's skate came up as Helm's forearm was coming down.

"Yeah, absolutely [it was a fluke play]," Helm said. "I don't know how many times this has happened in the NHL in the past 10 or so years. Twice to our team in the last two, which maybe might be more than a fluke thing. It just happened where I came down as the steel was coming up."

Last season, former Red Wings forward Mike Modano missed a large chunk of the regular season after incurring a similar injury to his wrist. Modano dealt with the injury long after he had surgery to repair it.

Helm said he's talked to Modano briefly about it already, but wasn't in the mood to talk extensively just yet.

"We didn't really go into full details about his road to recovery and how it's going to affect me in the future," Helm said. "I did ask him how his golf swing was and it didn't seem to affect him, so I'm happy with that. I'll talk to him a little bit more, probably, when things settle down for myself. Like I said, I'm not quite over what happened."

The Red Wings also are left trying to fill the void on their third line and top penalty-killing unit. Meanwhile, Helm is struggling to cope with not being able to help his team in its quest for another Stanley Cup.

"I'm not really too happy with anything that's going on right now. I haven't really gotten over what happened. I'm still pretty angry with the situation."
-- Darren Helm

"It's not easy," Helm said. "When I get away from the game it's a little bit easier for me. When I have to watch a game, that's when it's the hardest. There are a lot of people watching at my house right now. It's difficult."

Also difficult was the sight of his forearm right after it happened. He knew it was a fairly serious injury, but the fear factor didn't really kick in until he saw it.

"At first I was scared," he said. "I didn't know how severe it was. I didn't know if it went really deep and hit a nerve or artery. As soon as they slowed down the bleeding, I was able to wrap my head around the injury, how long I'd be out. That's when I got frustrated. I got mad. I kind of sat there by myself and took some deep breaths and calmed myself down."

Helm was taken to a hospital soon after leaving the ice, and after a hand surgeon was contacted, he was in an operating room having it repaired. The doctor told Helm that he should be recovered in time for training camp in September, but he anticipates wearing a Kevlar sleeve in the future to guard against another cut.

"I have seen some Kevlar wrist guards that have been coming out," Helm said "I saw [Valtteri Filppula] wearing one. I've seen a couple guys wearing Kevlar-like sleeves with wrist guards. That is definitely something that I'll be wearing in the future."

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