Forward Darren Helm played only one game this season because of a back injury, and his future is uncertain.

"I live in the real world and we need him at playoff time," coach Mike Babcock said. "We don't know what is going on and where we are today he's no closer today than he was in training camp. That's not a good sign. The optimist in me says he's a young man and … (he and the doctors) have to figure it out."

Helm is optimistic he'll be ready for training camp.

"It has gotten better, slower," Helm said. "Talking with people with back pain and back issues, it just takes time."