Kyle Wellwood was once a rising star that dazzled Toronto Maple Leaf fans with his spectacular play making abilities. Then something happened, something changed. Kyle was not himself. Instead of making plays when hope was lost, he made sloppy plays and gave the puck away too often. What went wrong?
To figure that out you have to review his young career. In his first full season for the Buds (2005), he accumulated 45 points in 81 games. Wellwood followed it up with an astonishing 42 points in 48 games in 2006. In the same year, he injured his groin and sustained a sports hernia.
This injury would cause him to miss 56 games over a two-year span. Playing 59 games in the past season he only managed 21 points. It wasn't just that he dropped off in points, he looked like he was playing scared. He wasn't ever a huge physical force, but now it seemed he was avoiding contact like it was a plague.
Kyle wouldn't go in the corners, and oncoming opponents made him cough up the puck. It looked like Kyle was going to be just another Leaf prospect that didn't live up to his potential. On June 24th, 2008, Kyle Wellwood was placed on waivers with the intention to buy him out.
A ray of hope for his career appeared on June 25th, when the Vancouver Canucks claimed the struggling forward off waivers from the Toronto Maple Leafs. Wellwood was signed by the Canucks and now has a chance to rekindle his career, and as a fan of Kyle, I hope he does just that.
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