Tag: Kyle Wellwood

Kyle Wellwood

Report: Kyle Wellwood to retire from hockey (Updated)


Kyle Wellwood is reportedly calling it a career.

Nicola Berger of Swiss newspaper NLZ reports the speedy 30-year-old forward is retiring from hockey. Wellwood had been playing for EV Zug in the Swiss National League, but tells Berger he’s done saying his heart wasn’t in it anymore.

Wellwood played nine NHL seasons with four teams: the Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, San Jose Sharks, and Winnipeg Jets. After not securing a NHL deal this past offseason, he headed for Switzerland where he had a goal and two assists through nine games for Zug.

While he arrived on the scene in Toronto, his career had a revival of sorts in Winnipeg in 2011-12 as he scored 18 goals and finished with a career-high 47 points. One lockout-shortened season later, he’s through with the game at 30.

UPDATE 11:50 a.m. ET

Slight clarification from Wellwood’s agent, as per Yahoo!’s Sean Leahy — Wellwood’s one-month deal with Zug has expired and he’s left Switzerland to explore potential NHL opportunities. If he cannot find any, he plans to retire.

Jets’ Wheeler: ‘I’m sick of going home’


The Winnipeg Jets won’t be participating in the playoffs for the second straight season — the sixth straight, if you go back to the Atlanta Thrashers days.

For some, that trend is getting annoying.

“I’m sick of going home right now and I think we have lot of guys that are sick of going home right now,” forward Blake Wheeler told the Winnipeg Sun. “I’m going to have a hard time drawing on any positives, when you’re going home and watching the important hockey being played from your couch again.

“That’s going to be tough to swallow.”

Wheeler’s been with the organization since the Atlanta days and knows what he’s missing out on.

He qualified for the playoffs in each of his first two seasons in the NHL — with Boston — and isn’t alone in postseason experience.

Jets captain Andrew Ladd has won a pair of Stanley Cups, one with defenseman Dustin Byfuglien (in Chicago). Kyle Wellwood’s played in 40 playoff contests and Mark Stuart’s played in over 20.

In short, the Jets are reaching a point where having great fans and playing an entertaining style simply isn’t enough anymore.

The team struggled mightily in some key areas (25th in goals against, 23rd on the penalty kill, 22nd in faceoff percentage), which essentially kept it out of a playoff spot.

All eight playoff teams in the East finished with a positive goals for/goals against differential.

Winnipeg finished minus-16.

Wheeler tried to stay positive in his outlook for the future, but acknowledged things need to improve.

“Hopefully, we can all look in the mirror and make a change,” he explained. “I think we’re on the right path.

“But ninth-place is a first-class ticket home again.”

Wellwood’s season ended by hand injury

Kyle Wellwood

Winnipeg’s victory over Buffalo to hang tight in the race for the postseason had an unfortunate casualty for the Jets.

Forward Kyle Wellwood blocked a Thomas Vanek shot in the second period of the team’s 2-1 win and missed the third period with an injured hand. Coach Claude Noel said after the game the prognosis is not good as Kirk Penton of the Winnipeg Sun reports.

“Kyle Wellwood will be out long-term with an injured hand,” head coach Claude Noel said afterwards.

The injury will keep him out of action for the rest of the season whether the Jets make the playoffs or not and the timing couldn’t be worse. Over the last nine games, Wellwood has scored four goals and has three assists in helping the Jets to a 6-3-0 record over that span and getting the team back in the race for both the playoffs and the Southeast Division crown.

Now they’ll have to find a way to replace his production in the lineup for their final three games at least. Nik Antropov and Anthony Peluso are candidates to get into the lineup after both are over injuries of their own.