Today Kyle Wellwood sits before the Canucks, Assistant GM Lawrence Gilman and NHL arbitrators to proceed with his salary arbitration in Toronto. This is where he and his agent will make a pitch for substantial pay raise to the mediator while the rest of them point out the flaws in his game.
Last year he had a salary of $997,500, while the franchise offered him $1,000,000 to re-sign this summer. Problem is, he cant't come to a contract agreement with the Canucks. Kyle believes he deserves more and agent Mike Liut will help him prove that by accentuating the positives of his inaugural season in Vancouver.
Wellwood scored 18 goals this season, which didn't really pick up until after December, but hes still on the top half of the scoring stats with the team. The hands of Wellwood are really great too. He's a player that's developing really well and feels comfortable on the ice.
Now Wellwood has some downsides as well. Let's look back at the start of the season; he struggled a lot with conditioning, and people wondering how he got so out of shape. He might even be a bit lazy. But beside that he got better, and trained harder later in the season. He still suffered a 21 game goal drought however, which doesn't look good at all. These are two of the biggest things the Franchise are going to hit'em with.
So if the Mediator decides to favor Wellwood the most The Canucks are going to cough up is 1.57Mill no more. Even if they keep and sign Wellwood where are they gonna put him as center. The first two lines are taken by Kesler and Henrik then you have Hodgson centering the third, and Johnson on the fourth. This possibly means moving Wellwood to the wing. I can only wonder how that will go?
The finalization usually take at most 48 hours, so by Thursday we'll know whether he's still a Vancouver Canuck or a UFA.