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Helm makes return to Wings' roster

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings
DETROIT – The Red Wings made their third personnel move in six days, calling up 22-year-old center Darren Helm from the team’s AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids on Tuesday.

In 37 games with the Griffins, Helm has 11 goals and 20 assists, tying his AHL point production from last season. The solid two-way forward replaces left wing Justin Abdelkader, who was returned to Grand Rapids.

Abdelkader, who was called-up last Friday, played in two games for the Wings, averaging nine-minutes of ice-time with two shots and three hits. He was also 4-for-7 on face-offs.

A fifth-round draft pick in 2005, Helm makes his third trip to Detroit this season. He played in two games (Oct. 16-18) and again on Thanksgiving eve vs. Montreal. In those games, the speedy forward was pointless while averaging 14 shifts and 10-minutes of ice-time.

Helm played in seven regular-season games a year ago. But his biggest contribution came during the playoffs when he played in 18 games and finished with two goals, two assists and a plus-two rating.

Recent injuries to forwards Henrik Zetterberg (back) and Tomas Holmstrom (groin) has made it necessary for the Red Wings to shuffle the roster. Zetterberg has sat out the last three games, while Holmstrom has missed the last two. Both veterans are listed as day-to-day.

Zetterberg, who hasn't played since the team announced that they signed the Swede to a new 12-year contract, hopes to return to the line-up in time for Wednesday's home game against the Phoenix Coyotes.

Helm is the fourth played called up from Grand Rapids in the last week. Forwards Aaron Downey and Ville Leino were called up on Jan. 29. The following day, Downey was returned to the Griffins and Abdelkader was brought up and made his season-debut at Washington last Saturday.

The biggest impact has been made by Leino, a 25-year-old Finnish rookie, who scored his first NHL goal on his first NHL shot in his first NHL game against the Capitals. He registered his first NHL assist, and was a plus-2 in the Wings’ 4-3 shootout win over St. Louis on Monday.

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