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Scouting Bryan Helmer

Since most of you have probably never heard of Bryan Helmer, the newest member of the Caps, I figured I'd tell you what I know about him (which isn't a whole lot).

As you've probably read, he was signed earlier today and will be in the lineup tonight because of all the injuries in Washington. Helmer will be paired with Tyler Sloan, the defenseman he played with in Hershey earlier this season.

Helmer, 36, is a grizzled veteran of 134 NHL games and 869 AHL contests with seven teams. His last game in the NHL came with the Phoenix in 2003-04 (Yep. Before Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby and the salary cap.) Helmer has also played for Vancouver and St. Louis and has eight goals and 15 assists and 133 penalty minutes on his NHL resume.

When the decision to recall Helmer was being made, it came down him or Patrick McNeill. Helmer, however, got the call based on experience.

It's a call Helmer, who will wear No. 43 tonight, said this morning that he never expected.

"Especially in the last couple of years because I was getting up there in age," he said. "But I'm happy I did."

For himself, and his two kids.

His son, Cade, saw him play in the NHL as three-year-old but doesn't remember it, Helmer said. Cade, who is seven now, will ride down from Hershey with mom, Pam, and Rylan, 3.

"I've never been part of an organization with so many injuries," Helmer said. "But it gives guys an opportunity to come up and show what they can do."

Then he added with a laugh, "It's good for the young guys and good for older guys, too."

But not so much for a Caps' team that's hoping to take the next step and challenge for the Eastern Conference crown.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 28, 2008; 11:52 AM ET
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Next: Afternoon Injury Update


Welcome Mr. Helmer.

A few more injuries, and we might have to start recruiting some of the Mites on Ice.

Posted by: cbs75 | November 28, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

@cbs75: Yeah, let's get that kid who scored the hat trick during the Carolina home game! Unbelievable.

Posted by: kittypawz | November 28, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Hi Tarik,

I have a suggestion for a blog entry or even a paper article: interview the Caps training staff.

It would be interesting to hear their take on how they're coping with all of these injuries. I'm sure they're scrambling right now.

With no disprect intended, that team might need to make some adjustments as well.

Posted by: Terptwin | November 28, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Heavy is the head that wears the crown.

Posted by: oo7 | November 28, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Tarik - or someone else -

It might be interesting for those of us who are newish to Caps fandom to compile a list of articles from Thanksgiving Day for each of the past five years. It'd give us a sense of where this organization's been and where it's going, and maybe inject a little perspective into this ragtag crew of naysayers that we seem to have collected.

Posted by: kittypawz | November 28, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.

i misquoted.

Posted by: oo7 | November 28, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

"Unleash Helmer!"

Posted by: SA-Town | November 28, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse


I remember last Thanksgiving's article, something about a coaching replacement.

Posted by: EricCarr | November 28, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse


Of course we know who Helmer is. His family makes that mayonaisse we all use.

Posted by: waitingsince75 | November 28, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

To bad the bears are playing tonight the whole team could be recalled.

Posted by: sporttraveler | November 28, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Can he really be any worse than a couple of "D men" he replaces?

The fowards have to be where they should be in the defensive zone, and they will be fine.

Posted by: OldFan | November 28, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

...Or does his family make that glue that my kids use a school?

Posted by: waitingsince75 | November 28, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

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