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Test shows tear in Draper's groin

Rookie Helm to make NHL debut vs. Dallas on Thursday

Thursday, 03.13.2008 / 2:24 PM / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
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Test shows tear in Draper\'s groin
DETROIT – Kris Draper learned on Wednesday that he has a small tear in his groin that will likely keep him sidelined for at least a few days.

“I felt it late in the Chicago game and tried to skate yesterday and it didn’t loosen up for me,” Draper said. “So, they sent me to go get an ultrasound. I guess they found a small tear from what happened out on the West Coast trip.”

Draper will not be in the lineup tonight when the Red Wings host the Dallas Stars at Joe Louis Arena.

With injuries to Draper, Tomas Holmstrom (groin) and Dan Cleary (fractured jaw), the team has summoned 20-year-old center Darren Helm from Grand Rapids.

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland was in Grand Rapids on Wednesday and saw Helm enjoy perhaps his best game as a pro. Helm had two goals and two assists in the Griffins’ 7-1 win over the Toronto Marlies.

“We were thinking that we would call him up,” Holland said. “But obviously when you see him have his best game as a pro, it really solidifies the decision.”

Through 59 games this season in Grand Rapids, Helm has 11 goals and 13 assists. A native of St. Andrews, Manitoba, Helm was Detroit's fifth round pick in 2005.

At 6-foot and 182-pounds, Helm is a speedy center and often compared to Draper.

“He has great speed and plays with a lot of energy and a lot of passion,” Holland said. “He’s a lot like Kris Draper with a similar character – a real good pro. Now let’s let him develop. That’s the hope.”

Draper was first bothered by the groin injury after the Wings played in Vancouver on Feb. 23. After two days off he still wasn’t feel 100 percent and it wasn’t clear whether or not he’d be ready for the game in Edmonton on Feb. 26. Since then, Draper has been held to one assist.

His last goal came on Feb. 1 against Colorado.

“When I played in Edmonton up until late in the Chicago game I didn’t feel anything,” Draper. “If I continued to play it could get gradually worse. So I have time to rest and let it heal.”

As for Helm making his NHL debut on Thursday, Draper did is part in making the young center feel comfortable.

“We talked when he walked in,” Draper said. “What a great opportunity for him. With myself, Homer and Clears being banged up there’s an opportunity for him to come up.

“The one thing that I always remember from when I got called up is how everyone makes you feel right at home in this dressing room. I wanted to make sure that he felt that way right away. You’re never going to forget your first game.”

UPDATES: With goalie Dominik Hasek out Thursday with a sore lower back, the Red Wings have recalled rookie goalie Jimmy Howard from Grand Rapids.

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