Wellwood Hopes to return to San Jose, Winnipeg Interested?
One would think Kyle Wellwood showed enough in 2011 to at least fetch a one-year contract with an NHL team. He endured a rather interesting season a year ago that began with him playing 25 games in Russia. He was eventually let out of his deal before being signed by the St. Louis Blues. Wellwood would never play a game with St. Louis after being claimed off waivers by the San Jose Sharks. Head Coach Davis Payne was forced to pull Wellwood off the ice during a Blues practice to notify the former Toronto draft pick he was headed west.
Wellwood was the second KHL player, joining Marek Svatos, the Blues lost as a result of the wacky waiver process that allows a team to essentially steal a player already signed by an NHL club.
Regardless Wellwood wasn’t about to complain as he found himself in a nice situation playing with a contending team in San Jose. It proved to be a decent pickup for the Sharks as Wellwood for the most part looked like a legitimate NHL player. He would record 13 points in 35 games with zero penalty minutes. He also notched seven points in 18 playoff games with the Sharks.
It’s been a familiar off-season for Wellwood who remains unsigned heading into September. He’s had some feelers with the Columbus Blue Jackets showing some interest a few weeks back to go along with Winnipeg who remains interested in signing the 28 year-old. Word is Columbus has since moved on.
Sources close to Wellwood tell me he’s holding out on the Jets as he still has his sights set on a return to San Jose. The Sharks have hinted they’ll invite Wellwood to attend training camp but without a signed contract. The Sharks have 49 players under contract, one under the maximum allowed by the NHL.
Looking at the San Jose roster they would likely have to move out a forward to create a spot for Wellwood. As we sit right now Winnipeg looks to be his best option.
More to come,
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