Sep 292008
 

When Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis was first handed the top job, he stated 3 traits he wanted from his players – hockey intelligence, character and integrity. When Kyle Wellwood reported to training camp out of NHL shape, it called into question whether he possessed any of those traits. Guys in Toronto called him lazy. Fans called him fat. Canucks coach Alain Vigneault called him out:

“His commitment to conditioning and being a professional athlete probably wasn’t where it needed to be for him to have success,” said Vigneault. “His test results showed from early July [to training camp] significant improvements. That being said, it’s still not NHL calibre.”

What is NHL calibre, however, is Wellwood’s scoring touch.

In the Canucks’ 5-4 shootout win over the Anaheim Ducks last night – by the way, the Canucks are now 4-0 in the preseason – Wellwood scored a beauty of a goal in regulation time and the shootout winner. In three preseason games, he has 3 points (1G-2A) plus 2 shootout goals. He’s won 59% of his faceoffs (22/37), including a whopping 70% over the weekend (14/20).

That’s not to say that Wellwood has played well. In fact, he’s been invisible for the most part and the only time I’ve noticed him is when he puts the puck into the back of the net.

It’s no secret that the Canucks need Wellwood’s offense – he has that in spades – but so far anyway, it doesn’t look like he has what Gillis wants in a player.

Is that enough to get him on the team?

  • DaxF

    I think he’ll make the team as long as he’s still improving on his conditioning and simply based on the fact that he’s still playing better than many of the other players that are fighting for a roster spot.

    He brings more to the table then Krog. If his conditioning has improved for his second conditioning test then he’ll make the team and I could see him slotted in as the second line center. Right now I’d like to see him between Hansen and Demitra.

  • DaxF

    I think he’ll make the team as long as he’s still improving on his conditioning and simply based on the fact that he’s still playing better than many of the other players that are fighting for a roster spot.

    He brings more to the table then Krog. If his conditioning has improved for his second conditioning test then he’ll make the team and I could see him slotted in as the second line center. Right now I’d like to see him between Hansen and Demitra.

  • http://jeremyhiebert.com Jeremy

    I think he’d really have to stink to get cut this week. He’s relatively cheap and obviously has some talent — even just to send out with Demitra as the second power-play unit or whatever, and maybe shootouts, it should be worth it. They were probably just trying to light a fire under him with the public shaming, partly to see how he’d respond.

  • http://jeremyhiebert.com Jeremy

    I think he’d really have to stink to get cut this week. He’s relatively cheap and obviously has some talent — even just to send out with Demitra as the second power-play unit or whatever, and maybe shootouts, it should be worth it. They were probably just trying to light a fire under him with the public shaming, partly to see how he’d respond.

  • Steve

    He’s on a one-way contract and makes a million per year, so he’ll stay with the team. However, it’s hard to see where he fits in unless he plays on the second line. Kesler and Johnson are pencilled in on the 3rd and 4th lines, and Wellwood isn’t the type of player they want on those lines anyways. If he doesn’t score, he brings nothing to the table and he’ll be in the press box.

    I predict an OK start and then an extended press box residency about 15-20 games into the season once Vignault gets sick of his work habits and lack of competiveness.

  • Steve

    He’s on a one-way contract and makes a million per year, so he’ll stay with the team. However, it’s hard to see where he fits in unless he plays on the second line. Kesler and Johnson are pencilled in on the 3rd and 4th lines, and Wellwood isn’t the type of player they want on those lines anyways. If he doesn’t score, he brings nothing to the table and he’ll be in the press box.

    I predict an OK start and then an extended press box residency about 15-20 games into the season once Vignault gets sick of his work habits and lack of competiveness.

  • Sternip

    Surely he will get in shape pretty quick if he’s playing three games a week.

    But if it’s true he’s invisible except for scoring goals, imo these kinds of players can be a liability on a team, because it’s difficult to justify dropping them but they can harm the team more than they improve it, in many ways.

    Give him a chance I reckon and see what happens.

  • Sternip

    Surely he will get in shape pretty quick if he’s playing three games a week.

    But if it’s true he’s invisible except for scoring goals, imo these kinds of players can be a liability on a team, because it’s difficult to justify dropping them but they can harm the team more than they improve it, in many ways.

    Give him a chance I reckon and see what happens.

  • http://canucks.vox.com Rinslet

    It’s easy to work on conditioning/fitness of a player. It’s harder to teach someone “hands” if they don’t already have it.

    On a team that’s been starved for offense, I think he should stay.

  • http://canucks.vox.com Rinslet

    It’s easy to work on conditioning/fitness of a player. It’s harder to teach someone “hands” if they don’t already have it.

    On a team that’s been starved for offense, I think he should stay.

  • Hailey

    He should stay- he can do extra conditioning and training and he’ll be in shape really quick if he also sticks to a sticrt diet

  • Hailey

    He should stay- he can do extra conditioning and training and he’ll be in shape really quick if he also sticks to a sticrt diet

  • Balmer

    HEY NUCKS……..GET MARK BELL!!!!!!!!! Then we will win! Dude can skate, pass, SCORE and FIGHT!

  • Balmer

    HEY NUCKS……..GET MARK BELL!!!!!!!!! Then we will win! Dude can skate, pass, SCORE and FIGHT!

  • Balmer

    I’m gonna lose it………how the %$#@ does pyatt get icetime over wellwood…….are you *&%$#@* kidding me? PUT WELLWOOD OUT THERE ahead of pyatt or hansen

    wellwood isn’t perfect but the dude can play the game and provide offensively

  • Balmer

    I’m gonna lose it………how the %$#@ does pyatt get icetime over wellwood…….are you *&%$#@* kidding me? PUT WELLWOOD OUT THERE ahead of pyatt or hansen

    wellwood isn’t perfect but the dude can play the game and provide offensively

  • Balmer

    Wow………….anyone else out there think that pyatt should be playin fourth line and wellwood scoring goals on the second line?

  • Balmer

    Wow………….anyone else out there think that pyatt should be playin fourth line and wellwood scoring goals on the second line?

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