Perhaps having Kyle Wellwood and Shane O’Brien on the same team for
the next few seasons might not be the best course of action for the
Vancouver Canucks. Two underachieving players with weight issues, living
in Vancouver, is likely too much for the team to have to continue to
With O’Brien facing restricted free agency, there’s
more than a good chance he’ll be back. Wellwood, a pending unrestricted
free agent, does not have the same security.
Of course, Wellwood
would prefer to stay in Vancouver as there’s likely not another team in
the NHL willing to pay close to the $1.2 million he
earned this past season:
“I like Vancouver, I
like playing in Canada, but at the end of the day
it comes down to other factors,” Wellwood explained. “If you’re willing
to do the role at the price they want you, you either say yes or no. If
you figure it’s not the best spot for you, you move on. Years and
opportunity, all those things are important.”
says he’s perfectly content to keep the third-line center role he’s
taken, although just 25 points for the season isn’t exactly what the
Canucks need. Like O’Brien, you have to wonder whether playing somewhere
other Vancouver would perhaps be best for Wellwood. He has a bit more
flexibility, although it’s likely that Vancouver offers the best option
for Wellwood in the NHL.
That being said, the Canucks have a couple of prospects who might be ready to take the next step to the NHL and Wellwood might be a bit of a progress-stopper for Cory Hodgson and Jordan Schroeder.