A potentially tumultuous offseason for the Detroit Red Wings will start with an attempt to lock down some of their own unrestricted free agents. The Wings have made contract offers to both Darren Helm and Drew Miller, reports mlive.com’s Ansar Khan.
A deal with Miller could be coming through presently, while Helm’s response could take a little longer.
The 32-year-old Miller played just 28 games last season due to injury. He suffered a broken jaw in December and a season-ending knee injury in January. The fourth liner just finished a three-year deal carrying a cap hit of $1.35 million. Khan reports that he is eligible for games played bonuses in his contract because he spent more than 100 days on injured reserve.
“He’s a good penalty killer, he’s a good leader in the room. He doesn’t wear a letter but he’s well-respected by the younger players. Hopefully we find a solution to keep him here for another year,” said general manager Ken Holland.
The 29-year-old Helm just finished up a four-year deal carrying a hit of $2.125 million. He could hold onto the offer and go into the free agency interview period at the end of the month, a few days before free agency opens, to determine what kind of market there is for his services.
He scored 13 goals and 26 points through 77 games last year, coming close to his career-high of 15 goals. He was clearly valued by the club for his versatility, but that usage may not be something he enjoyed. After the Wings were bounced in the first round of the playoffs again, Helm expressed a desire to have his role with the team more clearly defined.