The Washington Capitals have signed Bryan Helmer from Hershey and have called him up to the big squad. In the face of mounting injuries on the blue line, the Caps have no choice but to bring up another defenseman. Of course Helmer had to sign a contract before he could be called up, I am sure for the league minimum.
You are probably wondering, "Who the heck is Bryan Helmer?" Besides being the Bears captain, Helmer has had a yo-yo of a career between the NHL, AHL, and the IHL. He is no stranger to the NHL ranks, he has logged 134 games and amassed 15 assists and 23 points. But he never to seem to have any staying power in the NHL.
Helmer could be considered a career AHLer and his numbers are solid, in 848 games in the developmental league he accumulated 342 points and is a +126. The Caps signed Helmer as a unrestricted free agent in July. Although he has never been drafted, he has been through some good organizations like the New Jersey Devils, St. Louis Blues, Vancouver Canucks, Detroit Red Wings and the Phoenix Coyotes mostly playing for their affiliate AHL squads.
At 36 (my personal hero now), he has made the AHL All-Star first and second team. His career year happened in his last year as an Albany Rat in '97 -'98 where he finished with 63 points in 80 games. His best year of late has been with Grand Rapids in '05 - '06 where he scored 56 points and was a +25 (he was a career best +29 in Albany in '95 -'96) through 80 games. He is also a father of two (Cade 7 and Rylan 3), who will be in attendance for his first game back along with his wife Pam.
Helmer will play tonight against the Canadians and will wear #43.
Karl Alzner, a big Scott Niedermayer fan, turned in his #47 for #27. I think it suits him better.
Mike Green and John Erskine are aiming for a return on Tuesday against Florida (a game that is blacked out). The way injuries seem to be worse than first reported, I am not holding my breath.
I did not get up and 4 am. I did not go to the Mall at all today (knock on wood). I am enjoying my Black Friday immensely.