No-name playoff heroes

Following a long playoff tradition, NHLer Darren Helm is a breakout star called up from the minors

If there’s one name that really stands out in the Stanley Cup finals this year it’s Detroit’s Darren Helm. Helm is no NHL superstar, however. In fact, he’s barely played in the league. He’s a minor leaguer, called up from the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins to give the Red Wings lineup an extra playoff boost. It might sound like a big gamble, but this kind of move is actually a well-played strategy in the world of pro sports. In a championship game, it helps to throw a few hungry, young and not to mention speedy players in the mix. In baseball’s 2002 playoffs, the Anaheim Angels brought Francisco Rodriguez up from the minors to great success. In 1997, the Green Bay Packers called in Desmond Howard who became a Super Bowl MVP. For Helm, this is the second post-season where he’s been called up by Detroit. Last year, he scored twice. Not bad for a small, fourth-line player who had been passed over by most NHL scouts.

The Wall Street Journal

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