Darren Helm might not be ready for the start of the season after colliding into 21-year-old prospect Jerome Verrier during the first day of training camp on Friday.
Helm sustained a Grade 1 slight shoulder separation, per MLive.com writer Ansar Khan. He’s also going through the concussion protocol, but the 28-year-old forward feels good as far as that goes, according to the Detroit News’ Ted Kulfan.
Even if his possible concussion proves to be a non-factor though, he’s still projected to miss the next two-to-four weeks just due to the shoulder injury. So even in a best case scenario, it seems unlikely that he’ll play in any preseason games. The mid-point of his timetable is close to Detroit’s season opener on Oct. 9.
Helm’s dealt with more than his fair share of injury problems in the past as a variety of ailments resulted in him only playing in 43 games over the 2013 and 2013-14 campaigns. He was able to participate in 75 contests last season though.
Verrier’s right leg was broken due to the same incident.
After patiently waiting all summer, Michal Rozsival finally has a new contract with the Chicago Blackhawks.
The Blackhawks announced that they have signed the 37-year-old defenseman to a one-year deal. Because he didn’t have a contract in time for the start of training camp, he initially reported to the team on a tryout basis.
The financial terms of his contract weren’t immediately known, but Chicago had a little less than $1 million in available cap space, per General Fanager.
Update: His new deal comes with a $600K cap hit, although he can earn up to $200K extra in bonuses tied to games played, according to ESPN’s Scott Powers.
This signing gives Chicago six defensemen inked to one-way deals, including Brent Seabrook, Duncan Keith, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Trevor Daley, and David Rundblad. Given that Trevor van Riemsdyk is also likely to make the team, the odds of PTO blueliners Lubomir Visnovsky or Jan Hejda playing for Chicago now appears remote unless the team opts to go with eight defensemen.
While Rozsival will likely be used as a third pairing defenseman this season and might even be listed as a healthy scratch a decent amount of time, the veteran does provide Chicago with some important depth.
That being said, he still hasn’t completely recovered from the ankle injury that knocked him out of Chicago’s 2015 Stanley Cup run on May 7, per TSN’s Frank Seravalli.
Vincent Lecavalier said back in July that he just wanted to get his chance. Looks like new bench boss Dave Hakstol is giving it to him.
While the lines in the first day of training camp have to be taken with a grain of salt, it was nevertheless noteworthy to see Lecavalier playing up the middle with two other veterans going into this season with a lot to prove — R.J. Umberger and Sam Gagner — serving as his wingers.
“Nothing is set in stone,” Flyers coach Dave Hakstol told CSN Philly. “You don’t have a lot of time to try multiple, different things. We’ll try some different things and look at some different things knowing we have limited opportunity to do that.”
In other words, Lecavalier might not get a lot of chances to prove that he’s still capable of playing in his traditional position of center. Former bench boss Craig Berube often used Lecavalier as a winger and defended his decision by stating, “In the middle of the ice in our system, it’s a lot of work. You have to skate and get back and play both ends of the ice.”
And keep in mind, around this time last year we were writing about Lecavalier’s relief to start the season at center after being used as a winger in 2013-14.
So perhaps this is a matter of history repeating itself, but at least Lecavalier is getting another chance.