Darren Helm re-signs with Detroit; four years, $8.5 million

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The Detroit Red Wings are destined to be big players in free agency this summer, but they got things off to a start today by taking care of one of their own.

Darren Dreger of TSN reports the Wings have re-signed center Darren Helm to a four-year, $8.5 million deal to keep him in town as their grind line terror. Helm’s deal works out to a $2.125 million cap hit. Helm is a third line player for Detroit and while paying him just over $2 million a year might seem high, Colorado is paying David Jones $4 million a season to play on their third line.

Last season, Helm scored nine goals and added 17 assists in 68 games and had a career-high 12 goals two seasons ago. He’s not asked to contribute big offense but rather to help contain opposing forwards and perform on the penalty kill. If he ever figured out how to finish on breakaways, Helm’s speed would make him a huge threat shorthanded. As it is, Detroit is apparently more than happy with what they get out of him now.