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Injury is still emotional for Helm

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings
Darren Helm
DETROIT – Five days after he had his arm filleted by hockey’s equivalent of a serrated steak knife, Red Wings center Darren Helm is still dealing with the emotional toll of the incident that ended his postseason.

“I’m not really too happy with anything that’s going on right now,” said Helm during a news conference held at Joe Louis Arena Monday afternoon.

“I haven’t really gotten over what happened. I’m still pretty angry with the situation; it still hurts quite a bit,” he said. “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.”

Helm, 25, missed the final 10 games of the regular-season after he had a head-on collision with Sharks center Dominic Moore during the third period of the March 17 game at San Jose. Originally diagnosed with a second-degree MCL sprain of the left knee, it was expected that Helm would miss 4-6 weeks.

However, rehabilitation went better than expected and Helm returned early and played in Game 1 of the Western Conference quarterfinals at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena last Wednesday.

But on his sixth shift of the game, while killing a Wings’ penalty, Helm delivered a hard body-check to Alexander Radulov along the boards. The hit knocked Radulov back and as the Predators’ forward fell his right skate came off the ice as Helm simultaneously fell forward. The skate blade cut Helm’s right forearm between the glove and elbow pad. 

Helm was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where he underwent surgery to repair severed tendons in his arm.

“They said it should make a full recovery so I got to be positive with that,” said Helm, wearing a black immobilizer on his forearm. “I’ll start doing some rehab stuff pretty soon and they said it will probably take about three to four months until it’s fully recovered.”

At the time, Radulov was unaware that Helm was hurt. But the following morning, when he heard the news, he was rather distraught. But Helm hasn’t heard from Radulov, and said he doesn’t expect to either.

“There’s nothing he could have done,” Helm said, of Radulov. “I don’t think he tried to do anything. … Move on.”

Helm is the second Wings’ player to have an arm seriously cut by a skate blade. Mike Modano suffered a significant wrist injury when he was cut by a skate blade in November 2010.

“I don’t know how many times this has happened in the NHL in the past 10 or so years,” Helm said. “Twice to our team in the last two, which maybe might be more than a fluke-thing. It just happened.”

Last December, Valtteri Filppula missed a game when he suffered a deep laceration to his lower right shin in a game at Colorado. Ever since, the Wings’ forward has worn Kevlar socks to prevent similar injury in the future.

Helm said he’ll begin wearing Kevlar wrist protection.

“I’ve seen a couple guys wearing Kevlar-like sleeves with wrist guards,” he said. “That is definitely something that I’ll be wearing in the future.”

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose

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