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Old
07-25-2008, 02:45 PM
  #1
94eleven
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Wellwood

Seems to me there are two drastic views on Wellwood which can be seen when posters put out their preferred line combos. For the most part Wellwood seems to be either a top-6 forward (generally playing with Sundin if he signs, which makes sense), or he is on the 4th line or even an extra forward.

I can understand the hesitency from many posters saying he got waived by the Leafs because he couldn't make their top-6, but that is innaccurate in my opinion. They waived him because of a perceived attitude problem in which he was very complacent and border-line lazy, likely because he has had some success and was to a degree a fan-favourite.

By being waived he has expressed his knowledge of his mistakes and is looking forward to proving himself in Vancouver. If this is indeed the case, there is no doubt in my mind that he is playing ahead of Raymond in the top-6.

If Sundin does sign, a Demitra-Sundin-Wellwood top line to me is not out of the question, and if he doesn't, maybe Raymond or Pyatt (big body) steps into that spot until we can acquire a top-6 forward.

Thoughts?

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07-25-2008, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by loosemonkeys View Post
Seems to me there are two drastic views on Wellwood which can be seen when posters put out their preferred line combos. For the most part Wellwood seems to be either a top-6 forward (generally playing with Sundin if he signs, which makes sense), or he is on the 4th line or even an extra forward.

I can understand the hesitency from many posters saying he got waived by the Leafs because he couldn't make their top-6, but that is innaccurate in my opinion. They waived him because of a perceived attitude problem in which he was very complacent and border-line lazy, likely because he has had some success and was to a degree a fan-favourite.

By being waived he has expressed his knowledge of his mistakes and is looking forward to proving himself in Vancouver. If this is indeed the case, there is no doubt in my mind that he is playing ahead of Raymond in the top-6.

If Sundin does sign, a Demitra-Sundin-Wellwood top line to me is not out of the question, and if he doesn't, maybe Raymond or Pyatt (big body) steps into that spot until we can acquire a top-6 forward.

Thoughts?

Wellwood's biggest problem has been his perceived commitment to the game and in particular his physical conditioning. He was in very poor shape last season and did not work very hard at rehabilitating his injuries.

No one questions that he is a good talent and many think he could have been top 6 in Toronto if he hd put the work in.

Personally, I think he is a very low risk "boom or bust." While I don't see a huge upside he could turn into a 20-25 goal, 60 point kind of guy on the upside. Downside is that he gets waived.

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07-25-2008, 02:59 PM
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With AV, you can pretty much be assured he'll get a shot.

This is the way I see it...

If Sundin signs, our top 6 will include Sedins, Bernier, Demitra, and Sundin taking up 5 full time spots there. I think the other job will be an open audition all season, with guys like Raymond, Wellwood, who knows, maybe even Krog getting a shot at playing on that wing with Sundin and Demitra. I think Raymond will get first crack, and, if he does his job he'll stay there all year, but if he starts to become ineffective I think they'll be quick to give Wellwood a shot.

I like the idea of keeping that spot open for a few guys to fight over...It'll draw the best out of everyone (especially Wellwood) because Wellwood will have no excuse to slack off because someone like Raymond will be right there to take his spot. In Toronto Wellwood never really faced that until the end of his last year there...He could basically slack off and because Toronto was so thin on offensive depth he could slack without having to worry about losing his job.

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07-25-2008, 03:01 PM
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Wellwood is only a season away from getting almost a point per game.

From what I've heard, he's training or planning to train hard in the offseason.

From the words of Mike Gillis, I'm cautiously optimistic about Wellwood and I believe he will earn himself a definite roster spot. I think Toronto made a mistake in waiving him because he certainly has the skill and talent and upside to be a good player.

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07-25-2008, 03:07 PM
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Not to be a discourager - but Wellwood is borderline useless as

A - a winger. He's slow-footed and has no presence on the boards whatsoever. Unless you're planning on passing or carrying your way over the blue-line exclusively, he's not going to be a good fit. One game when the Leafs tried him as a winger was against the Wild and seeing him trying to participate in dump and chases was painful to watch

B - anywhere in the bottom 6. His lack of speed and d-awareness means he'd be a very bad choice for any 3/4 line spot. I don't recommend him matching up in a checking role with the other team's better lines

I like the guy - He's a slick playmaker - but what I've indicated here needs to be taken into consideration IMO

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07-25-2008, 03:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CCF23 View Post
With AV, you can pretty much be assured he'll get a shot.

This is the way I see it...

If Sundin signs, our top 6 will include Sedins, Bernier, Demitra, and Sundin taking up 5 full time spots there. I think the other job will be an open audition all season, with guys like Raymond, Wellwood, who knows, maybe even Krog getting a shot at playing on that wing with Sundin and Demitra. I think Raymond will get first crack, and, if he does his job he'll stay there all year, but if he starts to become ineffective I think they'll be quick to give Wellwood a shot.

I like the idea of keeping that spot open for a few guys to fight over...It'll draw the best out of everyone (especially Wellwood) because Wellwood will have no excuse to slack off because someone like Raymond will be right there to take his spot. In Toronto Wellwood never really faced that until the end of his last year there...He could basically slack off and because Toronto was so thin on offensive depth he could slack without having to worry about losing his job.
if both Wellwood and Raymond have good camps and deserve spots on the roster, imo it makes more sense to use Wellwood with Sundin and Demitra and give Raymond a spot on the 4th line. with Wellwood being more of a playmaker (at least so far in the NHL, he has scored at lower levels), he fits a lot better with skill players than say Johnson or Pettinger. expecting Wellwood to be an effective player without playing him with any skill is an exercise in futility.

Raymond, on the other hand, has the skill set where he could produce some offense from the 4th line on his own, or at least with nothing more than a crisp break out pass from a dman. even playing with Johnson and Pettinger, for example, I think Raymond still scores 10-12 goals. and Raymond's speed and hustle would provide momentum, the "traditional role" of the 4th line, while I don't think Wellwood's game has that "change the momentum" type quality to it.

add Pyatt and Pettinger (both have scored 20+ goals within the past two seasons) and Grabner as a long shot and we have enough competition for the spot beside Demitra and XXX (all which bring something different to the line) that we do not need to give up assetts to add another top 6 forward (assuming XXX happens).

I do wonder if Gillis and AV see Wellwood as a centre or exclusively as a wing? if XXX doesn't happen, do they feel Wellwood is a viable option as a #2 centre? all indications (trade rumours etc) would seem to suggest no.

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07-25-2008, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by cc View Post
Wellwood is only a season away from getting almost a point per game.

From what I've heard, he's training or planning to train hard in the offseason.

From the words of Mike Gillis, I'm cautiously optimistic about Wellwood and I believe he will earn himself a definite roster spot. I think Toronto made a mistake in waiving him because he certainly has the skill and talent and upside to be a good player.
As a Leaf fan, I wish Kyle all the best and hope he turns his career around in Vancouver. He has the talent to do it and it sounds as though this has been a good wake up call for him. But I'm not certain he would have made the necessary changes to his commitment to fitness if he hadn't been waived by TO. I'm sure many Leaf fans will be wishing we had held on to him at least another year if and when he puts it all together. Sometimes a change of scenery and swift kick in the arse is needed to get someone's attention, though.

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07-25-2008, 04:07 PM
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He'll get a fair crack at the open spots. Gillis has stated from the beginning that everything will start fresh.

And if he is demoted to the AHL... the Moose are going to be stacked at offense next year... Wellwood, Shannon, Krog, Grabner, etc.

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07-25-2008, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alternate View Post
if both Wellwood and Raymond have good camps and deserve spots on the roster, imo it makes more sense to use Wellwood with Sundin and Demitra and give Raymond a spot on the 4th line. with Wellwood being more of a playmaker (at least so far in the NHL, he has scored at lower levels), he fits a lot better with skill players than say Johnson or Pettinger. expecting Wellwood to be an effective player without playing him with any skill is an exercise in futility.

Raymond, on the other hand, has the skill set where he could produce some offense from the 4th line on his own, or at least with nothing more than a crisp break out pass from a dman. even playing with Johnson and Pettinger, for example, I think Raymond still scores 10-12 goals. and Raymond's speed and hustle would provide momentum, the "traditional role" of the 4th line, while I don't think Wellwood's game has that "change the momentum" type quality to it.

add Pyatt and Pettinger (both have scored 20+ goals within the past two seasons) and Grabner as a long shot and we have enough competition for the spot beside Demitra and XXX (all which bring something different to the line) that we do not need to give up assetts to add another top 6 forward (assuming XXX happens).

I do wonder if Gillis and AV see Wellwood as a centre or exclusively as a wing? if XXX doesn't happen, do they feel Wellwood is a viable option as a #2 centre? all indications (trade rumours etc) would seem to suggest no.
I honestly believe Raymond would gain a lot more from playing 1st line minutes in Manitoba instead of 4th line minutes in Vancouver. Even if the 4th line has a guy like Pettinger who isn't your prototypical "4th line no talent hack", Raymond would still be getting less than 10 minutes a night. He needs a top 6 role...Be it here or Manitoba.

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07-25-2008, 07:08 PM
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I honestly believe Raymond would gain a lot more from playing 1st line minutes in Manitoba instead of 4th line minutes in Vancouver. Even if the 4th line has a guy like Pettinger who isn't your prototypical "4th line no talent hack", Raymond would still be getting less than 10 minutes a night. He needs a top 6 role...Be it here or Manitoba.
I hear what you are saying, but I disagree.

Raymond needs to learn to deal with the physical level of play at the NHL. the skating in the AHL isn't strong enough to force Raymond to continue to round out his game. I feel Raymond benefits more playing 10 mins against NHL dmen than he does playing 20 mins against AHL players.

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07-25-2008, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by HankyFourFingers View Post
He'll get a fair crack at the open spots. Gillis has stated from the beginning that everything will start fresh.

And if he is demoted to the AHL... the Moose are going to be stacked at offense next year... Wellwood, Shannon, Krog, Grabner, etc.
What open spots are there? The only ones I can think of is one centre (IF Sundin doesn't sign) and potentially on the left side if someone beats Raymond out. I'll assume for now that Pyatt is the third line right winger. Seem's like Wellwood will be competing with Raymond for that second line spot...it would involve moving Demitra to the left side, and Wellwood to the right, centred by whomever.

The Moose are going to be insanely stacked either way.

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07-25-2008, 07:38 PM
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Not to be a discourager - but Wellwood is borderline useless as

A - a winger. He's slow-footed and has no presence on the boards whatsoever. Unless you're planning on passing or carrying your way over the blue-line exclusively, he's not going to be a good fit. One game when the Leafs tried him as a winger was against the Wild and seeing him trying to participate in dump and chases was painful to watch

B - anywhere in the bottom 6. His lack of speed and d-awareness means he'd be a very bad choice for any 3/4 line spot. I don't recommend him matching up in a checking role with the other team's better lines

I like the guy - He's a slick playmaker - but what I've indicated here needs to be taken into consideration IMO
I agree that he is not a bottom-6 guy...his defence needs a lot of work, and is really only special with the puck on his stick. He also is not a dump-and-chase winger you are absolutely right....but why does he have to be? Would Demitra and Sundin be playing dump-and-chase in any form ayways? I think since Demitra is a natural C as is Sundin, by throwing Wellwood with them, you are looking at aline that would play puck-possession like those old Red Army teams. Having that contrasted with the Sedin-Sedin-Bernier cycling, boards work could be a great strategy.

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07-25-2008, 07:39 PM
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I hear what you are saying, but I disagree.

Raymond needs to learn to deal with the physical level of play at the NHL. the skating in the AHL isn't strong enough to force Raymond to continue to round out his game. I feel Raymond benefits more playing 10 mins against NHL dmen than he does playing 20 mins against AHL players.
Raymond can develop his overall game and offensive game in the AHL benefiting him more because come next NHL season (2009) he'd weigh more, have more professional experience and be able to step in an make a significant impact.

However, he's good enough right now to be in the NHL, I feel that he needs top 6 minutes in order to learn the NHL offensive game. There are many players in this league that haven't learned the physical game, and they seem to be doing just fine, ask some of the Hall of Famers.

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07-25-2008, 08:08 PM
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Raymond can develop his overall game and offensive game in the AHL benefiting him more because come next NHL season (2009) he'd weigh more, have more professional experience and be able to step in an make a significant impact.

However, he's good enough right now to be in the NHL, I feel that he needs top 6 minutes in order to learn the NHL offensive game. There are many players in this league that haven't learned the physical game, and they seem to be doing just fine, ask some of the Hall of Famers.

I'd disagree that there are any HOFers that never learned how to deal with the physical element of playing in the NHL.

players with a dominate physical skill (size, speed) can at times get to complacent when they are playing at lower levels because their dominant trait is so superior to their peers. they don't learn how to round out there game, and when they make it to the NHL, where their speed and size are no longer quite as imposing, they become inefficient because what they are used to working, no longer is.

Raymond will be 23 heading into this season. he needs to learn how to use his speed to succeed against top talent, not AHL talent. another year in the AHL could be counterproductive.

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07-25-2008, 08:30 PM
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Provided he stays healthy, I would be willing to bet that Wellwood plays the whole year on the Canucks, seeing plenty of ice time on the top two lines.

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07-27-2008, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by cc View Post
Wellwood is only a season away from getting almost a point per game.

From what I've heard, he's training or planning to train hard in the offseason.

From the words of Mike Gillis, I'm cautiously optimistic about Wellwood and I believe he will earn himself a definite roster spot. I think Toronto made a mistake in waiving him because he certainly has the skill and talent and upside to be a good player.
Wellwood has said that about his training every season since he was junior.

Kyle Wellwood's off-season training consists of sitting at home and getting mentally ready for the next season with ocassional trip to the all-you-can buffet.
Quote:
Lack of conditioning may be the reason why Kyle Wellwood required abdominal surgery for the second time in nine months, surgery that could force the Toronto Maple Leafs centre to miss the first three weeks of the regular season.

After Wellwood missed 33 games with a sports hernia last season, head coach Paul Maurice instructed the third-year forward to hit the weights and get stronger this summer.

According to Wellwood's father, the 24-year-old took a different approach.

"He likes to take the time off to rest himself mentally," Rick Wellwood said in a telephone interview yesterday. "In the past that has worked for him. But maybe he's now going to have to do more in the summer ."
...
"Am I one of the weaker guys? Yeah, I'm one of the weakest guys in the league, for sure," Wellwood said in July. "That's just my body type - but I'm definitely fit enough."

http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/s...af5&k=38767

As noted by a reporter who has watched from junior on:
Quote:
Well, so far, things haven't worked out too terribly well for Wellwood in the NHL.

He has been beset by a nagging groin and hernia condition and is considered something of a defensive liability when he doesn't have the puck. Plus, and this must factor into his hernia problems, Wellwood has never been known as a weight-room warrior.

In fact, when this reporter penned a story about a new conditioning regime that Wellwood was excited to announce he was embarking upon, the Bulls trainer at the time laughed out loud.
...
Incoming Canucks general manager Mike Gillis -- a former NHLer with the Colorado Rockies (now New Jersey Devils) and Boston Bruins -- told Jim Morris of The Canadian Press that Vancouver is "prepared to put a lot of time and effort" into working with Wellwood.

They might want to start in the gym. Fast.

At five-foot-10 and 180 pounds, Wellwood isn't overpowering. In Belleville, he often looked pudgy.

In today's NHL, just to survive, players must be weight-room fanatics. Off-ice conditioning is a year-round job.
http://www.intelligencer.ca/ArticleD...aspx?e=1092769

Now he is on the Wet Coast the travel will be much more than he is used to and without proper conditioning he is not going to hold up under the grueling schedule that the Canucks are forced to play.

If he could not hold up under the friendly schedule played by the Leafs, good luck here. There is a good reason why the Leafs who are a godawful team gave up on him.

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07-27-2008, 04:55 PM
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Raymond is not suited, at all, for the 4th line. That line needs to provide toughness and checking and neither are fortes for Raymond.

If he can't cut the top 6 then he will head for the Moose.

Reason he got time last year is that the Canucks were woefully weak at the forward position. If the Canucks strengthen that area then Raymond may be in tough to make the team. I don't think the Canucks give any consideration to playing Raymond on the 4th line.

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07-27-2008, 11:24 PM
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I think that we will see Wellwood all over. AV is always changing the lines up anyways so I think he will spend time in the top-6 and bottom-6 and get alot of time on the PP

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07-28-2008, 12:44 PM
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I'm sorry but to me the idea of putting Raymond on the 4th line just so that he'll toughen up is ridiculous.

There's no way in hell Wellwood has a spot over Raymond expectedly or by default. He's going to have to make major strides in his conditioning in order to do that. Talent and offensive production isn't everything. Even if he puts up 40+ points, if he's a complete liability even strength like a Jason Allison, he'd hurt the team more than he would help it. Personally I'd rather have Raymond out on the ice, and I'd rather give Raymond a chance to develop over giving Wellwood a spot, even if Wellwood outproduces Raymond while being terrible at everything else.

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07-28-2008, 12:52 PM
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I would be really surprised if Wellwood pushes Raymond out of a spot in the top 6. I think Raymond could really blossom this year into a legitimate top 6 winger. Obviously I am hoping he comes to camp about 10 pounds heavier this year.

Frankly, I will be surprised if Wellwood plays very much. I see him as an injury/depth guy for the 2nd line but would not be surprised if Raymond, Shannon, Grabner, Hansen or of course Pyatt push him out.

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07-28-2008, 02:37 PM
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I would be really surprised if Wellwood pushes Raymond out of a spot in the top 6. I think Raymond could really blossom this year into a legitimate top 6 winger. Obviously I am hoping he comes to camp about 10 pounds heavier this year.

Frankly, I will be surprised if Wellwood plays very much. I see him as an injury/depth guy for the 2nd line but would not be surprised if Raymond, Shannon, Grabner, Hansen or of course Pyatt push him out.
I doubt Shannon will. If anything, Wellwood is here to play the Shannon role.

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07-28-2008, 02:57 PM
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If he could not hold up under the friendly schedule played by the Leafs, good luck here. There is a good reason why the Leafs who are a godawful team gave up on him.
But can he at least break a pane of glass with his shot?

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07-28-2008, 03:15 PM
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Wellwood is only a season away from getting almost a point per game.

From what I've heard, he's training or planning to train hard in the offseason.

From the words of Mike Gillis, I'm cautiously optimistic about Wellwood and I believe he will earn himself a definite roster spot. I think Toronto made a mistake in waiving him because he certainly has the skill and talent and upside to be a good player.
I read somewhere that he is training with Gagner this off season.

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07-28-2008, 11:53 PM
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[QUOTE=2agingmonk;15009196]
Quote:
I'm sorry but to me the idea of putting Raymond on the 4th line just so that he'll toughen up is ridiculous.
its not so much to get Raymond "tougher" that I could see him on the 4th line (IF--big IF--Wellwood plays well enough to earn a spot on the roster). Rather, it's to get him used to the physical differences between the AHL and the NHL. players in the NHL are obviously bigger, faster, smarter, more physical, better with their sticks, etc etc. From what I saw of Raymond last season, I think he's better served playing 10 minutes against the best in the world than playing 20 against inferior athletes.

Quote:
There's no way in hell Wellwood has a spot over Raymond expectedly or by default. He's going to have to make major strides in his conditioning in order to do that. Talent and offensive production isn't everything. Even if he puts up 40+ points, if he's a complete liability even strength like a Jason Allison, he'd hurt the team more than he would help it. Personally I'd rather have Raymond out on the ice, and I'd rather give Raymond a chance to develop over giving Wellwood a spot, even if Wellwood outproduces Raymond while being terrible at everything else
.

so if Wellwood does "make major strides in his conditioning" what would you have done with him? he fits the bottom line even worse than Raymond, where at least Raymond's speed and finish can create some offense on his own, and his hustle and work ethic can create momentum. Wellwood is a playmaker and needs to play with skilled players to be effective.

of course this is completely dependent on both players shining in camp and PS and forcing AV to keep both.

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07-29-2008, 01:58 AM
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the way i see it is,

if he decides to train like a maniac (like Grabner for the rest of the summer) then he'll have a good chance landing a position somewhere in our lineup.

if not, i don't see how he can survive in the western conference. he'll just be intimidated because look at all our games, we grind, grind and grind some more. there is usually little room to make fancy plays. but if he can prove otherwise, i'll shut up.

in short, i don't think he belongs anywhere. this is just insurance if sundin doesn't sign imo. much like the Krog signing. both are expendable, but i don't know why MG gave Krog a 1 way deal, perhaps he'll be on the 4th line?

anyways, back to the point, this guy is just another plug if we can't get anything done. i don't expect him to be on the team if sundin + another forward is here.

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