Smiles from The Namesake

So we've hit a bit of a lull in the Free Agent Market news.  So I thought today would be a good day to share a bit of "feel good" news.

Let me start by asking a question – what would the Chicago series have looked like if #43 in the Winged Wheel would have been on the ice?

We obviously can't forget about him…we named the damn blog after him for pete's sake.  I don't think anyone would argue that the Red Wings missed the speedy Darren Helm this season.  His speed kills.  He's great on the draw, an awesome penalty killer…and can chip in a timely goal every once in a while.

Trying to take a positive look at his absence this year – it gave newbies like Gustav Nyquist, Joakim Andersson, and Cory Emmerton a chance to show us what they had…and it also allowed veterans like Patrick Eaves and Drew Miller a chance to show us that they still had value in the organ-i-zation.

BUT…you can't expect or hope to keep the Namesake down forever.

More after the jump.

His nagging back injury kept him out of all but one stinking game this past season…I don't think anyone saw that coming.  His lack of progress and setbacks throughout the year had people even beginning to question his future in professional hockey (I shudder to think).

But today – we steal from a NBC Sports story (stolen by them from that talked to our beloved Namesake about his recovery.

“You guys haven’t seen one of these on my face in a while.  I’m feeling good and can’t help but be excited.” –Darren Helm

He was referring to the smile across his face.  Helm is participating along with many others in the Traverse City.  It's the first time the 26 year old has been on the ice in two months.  He won't be taking part in the scrimmages as a precaution.  But he will continue to participate in drills.

Keep your fingers crossed, kids.  This would be a great story for NEXT year when Kenny Holland refers to Helm's triumphant return as one of our "off-season acquisitions"…you know how he loves to do that.