Put your fat jokes aside (or save them for someone else, like Martin Brodeur maybe) because it sounds like it will be a while before Kyle Wellwood plays in the NHL again. The Associated Press reports that the Phoenix Coyotes released him after the pudgy play maker failed to impress them sufficiently during a pro tryout.
Wellwood appeared in five pre-season games with Phoenix and recorded two points (one goal, one assist).
He played the past five seasons as a full-time NHLer with Toronto and Vancouver, where he racked up 52 points, including 32 goals, over the past two seasons. But Wellwood was hoping to find a team who was willing to play him as a centre on a scoring line – something he knew wouldn’t happen in Vancouver.
Wellwood, who is listed at five-foot-10, has said there are options available to him in Europe if he isn’t able to stick with Phoenix.
Going to Europe might seem like an admission of defeat to some, but it seems like a reasonable Plan B for a player like Wellwood. It’s possible a team would find him to be a worthwhile fourth-liner, but Wellwood might prefer being a bigger fish in a smaller pond overseas.
It seems cruel to make fat jokes right now, so wait for him to land with a KHL/Elite League team before you make jokes about him drowning his sorrows in gravy or any other reference to emotional eating.