Now that Kyle Wellwood has flunked out of Vancouver and decided to run his mouth about Vancouver not being a place to win it’s pretty clear that the problem is Kyle Wellwood and not the teams that have given up on him. One thing that’s funny though is that articles on the internet don’t disappear so follow along Leafs fans as we head back to 2008 to see what everyone was saying when we let Kyle Wellwood go.
Heading into last night’s game against the Phoenix Coyotes the former Toronto Maple Leaf was Vancouver’s leading goal-scorer having scored six in eight games. There were chants of "Wellwood, Wellwood" after he scored twice in a 4-0 win over Nashville Tuesday night.
Wellwood’s post Toronto success has carried him to the dizzying height of almost 60 points combined in his last three seasons. Oh woe is Toronto who let this dazzling star go.
When Wellwood faces his former Maple Leafs teammates tomorrow at GM Place, he will start the game as the Canucks’ leading goal-scorer with six. It truly is an amazing feat, considering his NHL career in question just a few weeks ago.
As an added bonus, Wellwood likely will find himself on a line with the skilled Demitra, who could return to the lineup. From being ridiculed to being a cult hero. For Kyle Wellfed, it has been a whirlwind transformation.
It was either a whirlwind transformation or great shooting over a small sample size. I’m wondering how his season went after he scored his sixth goal. I’m sure he continued to dominate quality opposition and lead the Canucks in scoring throughout the year.
The Leafs had taken Wellwood 134th overall in the 2001 draft. He had 21 points (8-13) and a minus-12 rating in 59 games last season. He showed promise the previous season when he collected 42 points (12-30) in 48 games.
"I was happy they let me go," said Wellwood. "We had our differences. We were both looking to move on to a different structure. I’m happy here."
Kyle Wellwood is happy about being so bad at hockey that lots of teams cut him; the Leafs, the Canucks, Mytishchi Atlant… Yes sir truly a character guy who the Leafs let walk for nothing. If only they were smarter about managing their assets.
It’s asset management. If the guy needs work, you work on him. You fix his eating habits. You get him on the God damn exercise bike. You cook every meal for him if you have to. You send him to the minors. You do anything you can. But you don’t release him and let him walk away for nothing.
When asked at GM Place to comment on the posse of ex-Toronto skaters, Wellwood replied, “Yeah, you look over there and [St. Louis] has three former first-round Leafs and they made the playoffs. Mats and I are over here and we made the playoffs as well. So, it’s kind of funny that they keep letting guys go all the time.”
Kyle: enjoy riding shotgun to another early playoff exit in San Jose.