Sunday, September 21, 2008

Wellwood's conditioning still an issue

Sunday, after the conclusion of the NHL team's two-day training camp, head coach Alain Vigneault revealed that Wellwood's fitness tests on Friday were not up to standard.

He said Wellwood will have to hit certain benchmarks in a second test to be conducted after a Sept. 28 preseason game against the Anaheim Ducks. The Canucks intend to make some roster cuts after that contest – and Wellwood could be among them if his fitness has not improved.
This is nothing new for Kyle Wellwood, who ran into similar problems during his time in Toronto and had even earned nicknames like "fatso" from fans here.

This for a guy who is only 5 foot 10 and 185 pounds.

The thing is that Vancouver is so starved for offence and top six forwards that I highly doubt they can afford to cut even someone with talent as modest as Wellwood's loose. He is still going to get his chance on a scoring line — even if his leash will be awfully short with Vigneault.

For his part, Wellwood sounds more committed than he ever did with the Leafs, and he is coming off some serious injuries that would impede any players' off-season workouts. He has had a few wakeup calls now and needs to take this one seriously.

I'm not sure there are many more teams out there dying to give him a chance — and certainly not in such a plum role.

Depth chart
Sedin - Sedin - Bernier
Demitra - Wellwood - Raymond
Burrows - Kesler - Pyatt
Pettinger - Johnson - Hansen
Hordichuk - Krog - Cowan

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At 12:28 a.m., September 22, 2008, Blogger saskhab said...

Demitra and Hodgson would be the likely guys to play 2nd line C if Wellwood isn't up to par physically. They're looking for a surprise, obviously, but they do have a lot of cap room to add a player if that's at all possible.

An organization has to has standards. You can't let a guy like Wellwood slide under the radar just because you need a PP specialist. Because if you can't pass these physical tests, you really are going to be exposed and it will be detrimental to your team. On the PP, that's less of an issue, and probably the only area where his skills would be of any use.

If he's still not up to par on the 28th, but is showing improvement, they can suspend him until he meets the standards required. Maybe they'd give Hodgson a 9 game trial in the meantime.

At 1:06 a.m., September 22, 2008, Blogger Timothy said...

The last time that Alain Vigneault threw a player under the bus like this was at training camp last year, when he said Alex Burrows would have to fight to prove he was an NHL talent. That turned out to be pretty good motivation for him.

In the end, it's not Wellwood's fitness that will allow him to make the team. It's his game. He deserves the benefit of the doubt, and I believe he'll get it.

And anyways... The biggest story coming out of Vancouver's training camp is not Wellwood's conditioning. It is that Cody Hodgson is playing himself onto the team.

Read the remarks from Vigneault, Gillis, and the beat reporters. It certainly sounds like the Canucks are going to let him run with the opportunity as far as he can take it.

At 1:22 a.m., September 22, 2008, Blogger wrap around curl said...

I quote my favorite Leafs blogger, "Welcome to the world of Kyle Wellwood. All the talent in the world held back by a love of deep fried Mars bars."

At 2:22 a.m., September 22, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is purely nutrition/diet thing. Only 20% of weight management is exercise and NHL player certainly meets that level... easily.
I don't know if Wellwood doesn't know or doesn't care but he was certainly warned before moving to Nucks. It was reported here, too.

At 9:11 a.m., September 22, 2008, Blogger FAUX RUMORS said...

1) Can't teach an old(or fat) dog new tricks. Can't understand why anyone would be surprised to hear this Wellwood news.

At 10:25 a.m., September 22, 2008, Blogger Down Goes Brown said...

Kyle Wellwood -- the only athlete in history who managed to be too light and too fat at the same time.

At 11:45 a.m., September 22, 2008, Blogger Chemmy said...

I quote my favorite Leafs blogger,

Wait, I didn't write that.

Oh. :(

At 1:30 p.m., September 22, 2008, Anonymous Baroque said...

Kyle Wellwood -- the only athlete in history who managed to be too light and too fat at the same time.

You mean like an enormous fluffy marshmallow? :)

At 4:17 p.m., September 22, 2008, Blogger Jaredoflondon said...

Don't worry Chem, you were up against some stiff, bat crap insane competition.


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