Detroit Red Wings winger Darren Helm was initially believed to have only suffered a potential concussion during his collision with fellow forward Jerome Verrier at training camp on Friday, but it seems his injury was a little more serious than that.
Per Justin Cuthbert of the Score, Helm has suffered a separated shoulder as well — and Red Wings general manager puts the forward’s timetable to return to the lineup at two to four weeks, not the initially expected week protocol for concussion watch. Luckily, the concussion concerns have been alleviated; now, it’s just the shoulder that needs to heal up.
In retrospect, Helm is lucky; the other player involved in the collision, Verrier, is seeing his camp dreams end with a broken right leg. The QMJHL overager, who put up impressive numbers during the 2015 CHL post-season with the Quebec Remparts, was only attending the Red Wings camp on an ATO. His recovery timetable is much longer; as a result, it doesn’t seem likely that his try-out will turn into a contract.
This puts the Red Wings in an interesting situation. With a four week timetable to return to the ice as the maximum for Helm, the Red Wings’ regular season would already be underway by the time he’s able to return to the lineup — which is a full five games into the season, but a player must sit out ten games to be placed on long-term injured reserve. The Red Wings are also cap-strapped — the club is $1,314,543 over the salary cap as of September 19th — and would likely need to do something about his $2.125 million cap hit while he’s unable to play in the lineup.
The team has two options at this point — they can either place him on LTIR to start out the year, rendering him unable to play in an extra five games beyond his projected return, or they can hope that he’ll recover by the two week projected timetable and simply play without an extra forward on the active roster for a game or two. They still have time to decide, but it’s definitely a situation worth monitoring.