Kyle Wellwood gets his fair share of fat jokes, no doubt about it. At times I think it’s a little overblown (or bloated?) but one can imagine that he secretly might enjoy getting a bit more attention than an average player such as himself might normally receive. (This is not that different from the Twitter-based spotlight heaped on wacky enforcer Paul Bissonnette.)
Maybe that’s why we pay attention when little things happen for the playmaking center, like when he improves his scoring punch when he sports a paunch or recent news that the Phoenix Coyotes offered him a tryout in training camp.
“He’s a clever, creative player who’s a little bit intriguing,” Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney said. “We were weak on the power play last year and he’s a smart player who could help us there so we’ll give him every opportunity to come in here and win a job.”
Wait, Maloney balked at the opportunity to say “we’re hungry to improve our special teams”? Oh well, sometimes you just miss an opportunity. Hopefully Kyle Wellwood will make good on his opportunity, for the sake of his bank account and snarky hockey bloggers everywhere.
Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.
The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.
According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”
Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:
The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.
Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.
In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two:
Are the Philadelphia Flyers aiming for some sort of record when it comes to expensive (potential) healthy scratches?
While lineups are obviously subject to change, CSNPhilly.com notes that Vincent Lecavalier appears to be among a rather rich group of Flyers who are expected to sit during their season-opener.
Also likely to be in street clothes: Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn.
That’s $11.3 million in cap space rotting on the bench.
“I really don’t know what to say,” Lecavalier said. “I’ll practice hard and be ready when they call me up.”
The CSNPhilly.com quotes from Lecavalier, Gagner and Schenn only get sadder from there, a reminder that there are human beings attached to these numbers – whether you focus on disappointing stats or bloated salaries.
Flyers fans with the urge to reach for an Alka-Setzler can at least take some comfort in knowing that the team will see $6.8 million in savings after this season, as both Gagner and Schenn are on expiring deals.
It could be a long season, though, and this Lecavalier headache may not truly end until his contract expires following the 2017-18 campaign.