The Detroit Red Wings are apparently talking more with Darren Helm after many analysts figured his time in Detroit was up. This all changed after Steven Stamkos was locked up in an eight-year deal with the Lightning. Craig Custance tweets that both Helm and the Wings will talk until tomorrow when he becomes an unrestricted free agent. An afterthought after Drew Miller signed a one-year extension, Helm could fill a need at center now that Stamkos is off the market, though it will not be the type of production Stamkos would have generated. Helm, 29, has spent his entire career with the Red Wings.
Nick Cotsonika wonders where the Red Wings go from here after not even getting a chance to talk with Stamkos. Cotsonika reports that Stamkos would have been the first bona-fide superstar signing for Detroit in quite some time, and that a quarter-century of success has its drawbacks in terms of not drafting generational talent due to having lower draft picks. The Red Wings, Cotsonika writes, will have to be deft at not only acquiring the right free agent, but outbidding other teams without overpaying.
Other Central Division notes:
- Speaking of Stamkos, Kevin McGran writes how the 25-year-old never intended to leave Tampa in the first place. Though he had the chance to be a “hometown hero,” Stamkos opted to stay with the Lightning where the opportunity to win a Cup remains very strong. McGran reports that not only did Stamkos sign for a very cap friendly $8.5MM, he did so knowing it was about $3MM less than what he could have received on the open market.
- DJ Bean reports that the Bruins would have preferred to trade Dennis Seidenberg instead of buying out his contract. Bean writes that a source told him that general manager Don Sweeney never approached Seidenberg with a trade scenario. Seidenberg’s contract included a no trade clause until December. Bean surmises that this either meant no one was interested in taking Seidenberg’s contract or if willing to take it, they would have expected a return similar to the Blackhawks Bryan Bickell trade that included Teuvo Teravainen.