Kukla's Korner Hockey
by BMS on 09/09/11 at 06:20 PM ET
With the regular season home opener a month away, the Winnipeg Jets continue to tweak their roster, albeit with modest changes. Yesterday the club announced they’ve signed former Leafs/Canucks/Sharks (and Blues, although he never played a game for them) centre Kyle Wellwood to a one-year, $700,000 contract. Seems like a relatively safe pick-up for the Jets – Wellwood can surprise with bursts of speed and some pretty slick stickwork.
Wellwood’s downside, of course, is the often-rumoured lack of physical fitness – anyone that follows hockey and has a Twitter account has probably seen more Kyle Wellwood jokes than they care to admit. Couple that with the reported weigh-in of Dustin Byfuglien at 286 pounds and the jokes practically write themselves. Is it safe to assume the Jets brass did their homework with regards to Wellwood’s fitness before offering a deal?
If Wellwood comes to camp in good shape, I can see him fitting in on the third line (behind Bryan Little and Alexander Burmistrov). Tanner Glass and Wellwood both played for the Canucks in the 2009-2010 season, so there might be some potential chemistry there. He’s certainly not a liability in terms of sitting in the penalty box - the guy has 30 penalty minutes in 373 regular season NHL games and has never sat in the penalty box in 40 NHL playoff games.
The Jets’ rookie camp practices happen tomorrow and Sunday at the MTS Iceplex (the Jets’ practice facility) before the kids pack up and head to Penticton for the Vancouver Canucks’ Young Stars Tournament next week. The two practices are free and open to the public - in this hockey-mad city, I imagine the turnout will be pretty high. I’m going to try and elbow my way in to check it out if I can sneak in, watch for some tweets as practice goes along.
You can also watch the Young Stars Tournament next week at canucks.com.
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