We all knew it was coming, especially after the difficult year he just went through, but it appears to be official – Colorado Avalanche forward Darren Helm is retiring from the NHL.
My colleague (and Detroit native) Aarif Deen had it first. The veteran of 16 NHL seasons is calling it a career after 823 career regular season games with both Colorado and the Detroit Red Wings. On top of that, he played over 100 postseason games, and usually saved his best for the playoffs, winning two Stanley Cups in his career.
Helm only played two seasons for the Avalanche, but will be remembered by Colorado fans for his incredible play in the playoffs during the 2022 Stanley Cup run. He threw his body around with reckless abandon, leading the team in hits and eating valuable minutes on the fourth line. That physical play is part of the reason why he had so much trouble staying healthy this past season, as off-season surgery set him back and he was never able to get truly healthy.
During the playoff run, he only scored 2 goals, but his goal at the end of Game six against the St. Louis Blues was, at least to me, the most important goal of the playoff run. You all know what goal I’m talking about…
Helm nearly retired last summer, but decided to sign for one more year. It just never worked out, as he battled lower and upper-body injuries all season long. He got into one game in the playoffs, but was taken out after a cross-check to the neck by Will Borgen.
Best of luck to Helm and his family in retirement, as 16 NHL seasons is a heck of an accomplishment. He’ll forever have a place in Avalanche fans hearts after helping them win the Stanley Cup last season.