Wellwood’s World 2, Chapter 4: The Jet flies west

One of the worst aspects of the Winnipeg Jets being in the Southeast Division is that we only get to see Tanner Glass, bear-fighter, and Kyle Wellwood, defensive superstar, once this season. Glass and Wellwood are two of PITB’s favourite former Canucks and it has been incredibly rewarding to see them experience success in Winnipeg. The Jets are currently in 8th place in the Eastern Conference and are battling with the Capitals and Sabres for that final playoff spot, and the contributions of Glass and Wellwood are playing a big role.

The biggest nerd on the Canucks this season left town at the trade deadline, but he couldn’t touch Kyle Wellwood, the library enthusiast, when it comes to nerdity. The Halo-playing, Ayn Rand-reading, no-TV-watching weirdo was a little more under-appreciated in Vancouver, however.

Winnipeg, on the other hand, loves him unequivocally.

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When last we left Wellwood’s World, Welly had just signed a one-year deal with the Jets after failing to come to terms with the Sharks. After a warren of West Side Story jokes (don’t the Jets and Sharks prefer basketball to hockey?), Wellwood settled in with Winnipeg, finding a spot on the third line.

As the internet’s foremost Wellwood-ologists, we noticed a few odd things about his start with the Jets. Such as the fact that he’s leading the team in goalscoring, with 4 goals in 9 games. That’s not normal: Wellwood’s highest goal total in his career was 18 with the Canucks in 2008-09. He’s also third on the team in points, with 6.

Some players on the Jets made their stats a little more respectable by cashing in on last night’s absurd 9-8 victory over the Flyers, such as former Canuck and friend of the blog Tanner Glass, who had his first ever 3-point game (third line for Glass!), tying him with Wellwood for third on the team in scoring. Wellwood, on the other hand, only had one point in the game, a goal. Instead of his usual streakiness, Wellwood has been a model of consistency, scoring in 5 of the Jets’ 9 games and never going more than one game without a point.

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For the second offseason in a row, Kyle Wellwood remained unsigned well into August. It didn’t make sense. Welly had acquitted himself well once the Sharks plucked him off the waiver wire late last season, and he was a big part of the turnaround that led San Jose to the Western Conference Final. Despite this, it appeared there wasn’t a single NHL team interested in his services.

Thankfully, that wasn’t the case. According to the Winnipeg Sun, Wellwood has signed a one-year deal with the Winnipeg Jets. We’re excited for him, especially since it will be much more difficult for anyone to call him fat when he’s standing next to Dustin Byfuglien.

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Like “Henry the 8th”, it’s second verse, same as the first. Once again we find ourselves nearing the end of the NHL offseason with no contract for Kyle Wellwood in sight. This season it is even more inexplicable than last season. Long time Bulies will remember my impassioned defense of Kyle Wellwood’s defensive abilities after the 2009-10 season, pointing out that he led the entire NHL in the admittedly oddball statistic of Ratio of Goals Against to Total Time on Ice. To put it simply: when Kyle Wellwood was on the ice in that season, the opposition didn’t score. At least, not very often.

Instead of other NHL teams noticing his surprising defensive responsibility, the epic saga of Wellwood’s World happened, as Welly signed in the KHL, saw the coach who had him signed fired and replaced, rode the bench, was released from his KHL contract, had a baby, signed a contract with the St. Louis Blues, was picked up off re-entry waivers by the San Jose Sharks, and made it to the Western Conference Final, where he was eliminated by his former team, the Vancouver Canucks. It was a crazy, crazy year for the easy-going Wellwood, and likely one he doesn’t want to repeat.

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Regular PITB readers (the ones we call Bulies) know that we’ve been following the adventures of adorable ex-Canuck Kyle Wellwood all season. It’s been quite the ride. When we began the Wellwood’s World feature, we expected to update you once a month or so on Wellwood’s stats abroad. Instead, we’ve been blessed with a full fledged international saga — one that’s now come full circle, as Wellwood’s Sharks get set to face off against the hometown Canucks.

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When we last left Kyle Wellwood, he was happy. Why wouldn’t he be? Things are going swell for Welly. He’s expecting his first child; his experience in Russia taught him a newfound respect for his home continent, as he no longer has to contend with dogs for the best links of sausage; he’s fitting in [...]

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When we last left the non-stop actioner that is the life of Kyle Wellwood, Welly was making his triumphant return from exile, now in a San Jose Sharks uniform. He seemed excited about going to the Sun Belt, and relieved to be home from Russia, the bizarro nation where stray dogs reenact famous scenes from [...]

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Let’s be very clear: when we began closely following Kyle Wellwood’s career, we had no idea it was going to be this interesting. Well, maybe we did. Even on a slow day, Kyle Wellwood is impossibly interesting, but we genuinely expected the Wellwood’s World feature to be a lame list of stats followed by a [...]

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Update: apparently this isn’t officially confirmed and GM Doug Armstrong is denying it. But that’s just shame. He’ll get over it. It was only last Tuesday that we delivered the bundle of nonjoy that was the end of Kyle Wellwood’s contract with Atlant Moscow Oblant. Two days later, things got a little brighter, as we [...]

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It was only just yesterday that we reported the sad news that Kyle Wellwood’s contract with the KHL’s Atlant Moscow Oblant had been terminated. Word was that the club was unhappy with his performance and they had therefore decided to end the relationship. But it turns out that’s not all to the story, as Wellwood [...]

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The latest chapter in Kyle Wellwood’s wild and weird world is a sad one. Dmitry Chesnokov of Puck Daddy is reporting that Atlant Moscow Oblast has released the pudgy playmaker from his contract. The news comes from Russian sports website sports.ru, which apparently broke the story, but the website resists my translation attempts (ie. it [...]

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If you follow Kyle Wellwood news as closely as we do (and why wouldn’t you?), you will have already heard the sad news: our favorite Ayn-Rand-reading, no-TV-watching, no-minor-penalty-taking little warrior will be taking his talents to Mytischi to play for Atlant Moscow Oblast. Despite a strong showing during the Phoenix Coyotes training camp, he was [...]

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Oftentimes, no news is good news. That is definitely not the case when you’re an NHL free agent in the off-season. And when you’re a hockey blogger who happens to be a fan of said NHL free agent, no news is excruciating. We here at Pass it To Bulis! have made no secret of our [...]

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Amidst all the big news about recent Canuck acquisitions, awards achieved, prospects camp, the draft, and everything else that’s made this offseason fairly interesting, we may be losing sight of the fact that some beloved Canuck alumni are on their way out the door. For us at PITB, the greatest of these is Kyle Wellwood. [...]

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