Darren Helm has not played since helping the Colorado Avalanche capture the Stanley Cup in June.
That might change soon.
I’m still getting up and running before officially getting started in the New Year, so I wasn’t able to make it to today’s practice, so the news comes courtesy of Aarif Deen at Mile High Sports and Ryan Boulding at NHL.com.
Darren Helm wearing grey at practice is a nice change. We'll get updates from Bednar after practice.
— Aarif Deen (@runwriteAarif) December 30, 2022
Jared Bednar said Helm is making progress and pushing it to the next level. He's nearing a return but Bednar doesn't have a timeline.
— Ryan Boulding (@rboulding) December 30, 2022
Helm, who had surgery after the playoff run, had been skating on his own in a non-contact jersey through training camp and into November, but required another surgery, delaying his return.
The 35 year old forward was huge for the Avalanche in the postseason, throwing his body around with reckless abandon and scoring big goals, none bigger than the game winner in Game six against the St. Louis Blues to send the Avalanche to the Conference Finals.
The Avalanche depth has been heavily depleted this season, and they’re currently using two defenseman at forward. Any NHL forward getting back would give the staff more options in the bottom six. The return of Helm would add back some speed to the lineup that was a calling card for the team last season, and has been lacking with the injuries this season.
Nathan MacKinnon is still in a non-contact jersey, but could very well return soon.
The Avalanche finish out the calendar year of 2022 at home against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday. The game starts at 5 PM MST.
I’ll be ready to jump in full-time on January 1, 2023 to officially kick off the new era of CHN.