Regarding giving a $#*+ about Darren Helm’s departure

More than a few Red Wings partisans on Twitter, Facebook and this humble blog have reacted to Darren Helm’s departure for the sometimes-despised Colorado Avalanche, after 14 seasons with the Red Wings organization, with a simple, “So what?”

That’s understandable. Helm, now 34, was playing as 4th line forward on Detroit’s roster last season, and the rivalry with the Avalanche sure isn’t what it used to be…

But I can speak for everybody who reacted to this free agent departure with heartbreak, and I can do it quite simply: sometimes fans’ emotional investments in players are greater than the sum of their on-ice contributions, and for many fans of the 2008 Stanley Cup Champions, Darren Helm was that last connection to the Wings’ salary cap-era Cup.

There is nothing wrong with the Helm fans losing their Gord-dang minds over a past-his-prime player signing with a historical but not present-day rival. This is how fandom works–sometimes we invest an enormous amount of time, energy and effort into following specific players, and losing their services stings.

Rather than bashing Helm for being a bit player whose absence may very well make the Wings more competitive (which is certainly a valid observation regarding the Wings’ departures of Helm, Abdelkader, Glendening, Ericsson and other 2008-Cup-Era-or-Thereabouts players), I would ask that those of you who don’t feel much sympathy for those shook up by the “changing of the guard” on Steve Yzerman’s Red Wings team to remind yourself that roster turnover isn’t always business in the hearts of sentimental fans.

Hockey is not a business for everyone, and some fans love their “washed-up Wings.” There’s nothing wrong with that. Give them their time and space to grieve as you prepare to move on to the next chapter in Red Wings history.

Published by

George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.

6 thoughts on “Regarding giving a $#*+ about Darren Helm’s departure”

  1. More than anything it was his contract that seemed to be contentious. It wasn’t his fault Kenny overpaid, he just raked in the cash. Mostly his point production ranged from 8-13 goals and 16-30 points so he actually was sort of consistent in that regard.

    He was frustrating when he blazed down the ice on a breakaway only to shoot wide of the net. He was good defensively and good on the penalty kill.

    He was a fine Red Wing for 14 years and does not deserve spite.

    1. Oh, hell, his last contract with the team was a nightmare. There’s no doubt there–and Kenny overpaid someone who married his niece, which was just sketchy.

      But Helm did his job and did it fairly well for the vast majority of his tenure here in Detroit, and I think that people are totally allowed to feel whatever they want about their favorite players.

    2. Helm’s first move on the goalie was his last move. Years ago the Wings had a speedster named Gary Mc Adams, his nickname with the team was Too Bad McAd. Breakaways came but the scores didn’t for McAd. Good luck to Helm in Colorado, I hope his luck around the net changes, but not against the Wings.

  2. This was the best for Helm, being part of a rebuild was not the best for him. In Colorado they are looking to get better than they already are. Helm will help with his speed and good Defensive play. He will continue to have breakaways, will he score probably not but who knows. Hope he ends his career with some offense, good guy with speed will always be there.

    A change (more winning will help) is good for him and I always be Fan (From WHL and continuing in the NHL).

    1. No doubt, Helm fits better as a 4th liner in Colorado than he did here…and I’m always going to root for him, except when he plays the Wings!

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