Helm upbeat after finally returning to the ice

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Darren Helm was limited to just one game last season due to a back injury, but he’s starting the summer on a high note.

As expected, Helm attended the Detroit Red Wings’ Traverse City event and his first on-ice session in about two months went very well, according to NHL.com.

“You guys haven’t seen one of these on my face in a while,” Helm said, referring to his smile. “I’m feeling good and can’t help but be excited.”

The 26-year-old forward understandably wasn’t as fast as he usually is, but he figures his signature speed will return in the coming weeks.

He set career highs in 2010-11 with 12 goals and 32 points in 82 games and recorded another 26 points in 68 contests in 2011-12. He’s also an above average player on the draw.

If Helm’s summer rehab goes well, then his return in 2013-14 would significantly improve the Red Wings’ third line.