During this summer’s Olympic Games, much was made of the diets of both greatest-swimmer-ever Michael Phelps and the fastest man that ever lived, Usain Bolt.
Inspired by their stories, Kyle Wellwood spent the entire offseason living with that guy that’s eaten 23,000 Big Macs. Not surprisingly, he has shown up to Canucks camp out of shape.
Sunday, after the conclusion of the NHL team’s two-day training camp, head coach Alain Vigneault revealed that Wellwood’s fitness tests on Friday were not up to standard.
This is one of those “we told you so” things for the Canucks, who claimed the promising but doughy 25-year old off waivers from the Maple Leafs. The complaint with Wellwood in his Toronto days was that he was often fat and lazy. When you google anything nowadays, one thing that happens is Google completes the phrase that you’re typing and gives you the number of hits it finds. When you type in “Kyle Wellwood,” the second term that comes up, and thus the term most often searched as it relates to Kyle Wellwood without just being his name, is “Kyle Wellwood fat.”
For a professional athlete, I bet that’s a bad thing. This post, from a Maple Leafs-centric blog, is full of all kinds of mean (and accurate) things about Wellwood’s Buddha-like physique.
Of course, Wellwood has also cooked up a host of excuses, some of them legitimate. He has had several hernia surgeries and broke his foot playing indoor soccer early in the offseason. As a result, he missed a bunch of time he would have allegedly spent training (driving through Tim Horton’s counts!) and his fitness level started well behind the rest of the team.
There was a sequence Sunday where Wellwood won a battle for the puck on the side boards, stick handled around two defenders and created a quality scoring chance. But there were other moments this weekend when Wellwood was seen huffing and puffing and looking as though he wouldn’t make it through practice.
Wellwood has a week to get his fitness tests to an acceptable level. If he doesn’t, he’s out.. the Canucks’ one-dimensional offense notwithstanding. He can’t hit and he can’t play defense, so his worth to the team without being in shape is nil.
“If he can’t be an offensive player, he can’t compete here. So, he has to play to his skill set,” Gillis said.
One assumes that, should he get bounced from the team, Wellwood’s career will be on its last, pudgy hippo legs.