It's true LeftWinger - I didn't necessarily like the 5 year term either, but Darren Helm is an extremely valuable forward that creates roster flexibility unlike anyone else. He is our best penalty killer plus our best (or second best) forechecker. He has been useful on the first line, and he's obviously been great on the 4th line. Having forwards like this is invaluable, especially in the playoffs when you win or lose games after you win or lose individual matchups. This undeniably happened against Tampa Bay in 2015 (who went to game 6 of the Finals) when Luke Glendenning got hurt and missed the last two periods of game 4, after completely suppressing the "kid line" to that point entirely. I truly believe the legend of Tyler Johnson may have never been a thing if not for that injury.
Daren Helm has that ability plus more to offer offensively.
Would I like him more at $2,950,000? Of course. But that isn't the math or the question that matters... It was widely reported that he took a hometown discount and had offers over $4,000,000 to leave - so we made it up on term. If the question to me is you can have Helm at $3.85 or no Helm, I take what I know considering I just lost my best player who was also a Center.
So if the "number" everyone seems comfortable with (which basically equates to the difference of a league min contract) isn't that big a deal - I can't really accept that one guy is preventing all of Jurco, Mantha, Anthanasiou and Bertuzzi from a job in the NHL.