Former Red Wings forward Darren Helm held a conference call with the Colorado Avalanche’s media corps today, and the Denver Post’s Mike Chambers spoke with Helm about his decision to leave the Red Wings’ organization after 14 years:
Helm hoisted the Cup at age 21, and after 14 seasons with the Red Wings, he hopes to hoist it again next summer at age 35.
“My first year, it was a great experience. Loved every part of it,” Helm said Wednesday on a Zoom call. “We missed another opportunity in ’09 and then it’s been a cold drought for the last (12) years. Really looking forward to (being) part of this team.”
Helm signed a one-year contract worth $1 million last Thursday with the Avs, a day after free agency began. He’ll likely step in on the fourth line and serve as a primary penalty killer, effectively replacing Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, 36, who signed a two-year, $2 million deal with Tampa Bay last week.
Helm’s 744 career regular-season games with Detroit rank 17th-most for the Original Six franchise.
“Mixed emotions. Been here for a long time,” Helm said about leaving Detroit — likely for just one year. “I’ve raised a family here. I’m sure this will be home for my family when we’re done. (But) when I heard the news that everything had happened (with Colorado), I was extremely excited. Just really looking forward to playing with the Avs and being on a contending team.”