I can already hear the jeers and/or chuckling going on after reading that headline but I don't care. The jokes thrown at Wellwood over the past few years have been justified because he reported to camp out of shape with both the Leafs and the Canucks a couple years back and, well, hockey fans jump all over that. But I'm not here to laugh at him. Frankly I think it's getting old but aside from that, Wellwood took the jokes in stride and put out some pretty solid efforts as a member of the Canucks.
In 149 regular season games with Vancouver, Woody scored 32 goals and 20 assists with mostly 3rd line minutes but with decent PP minutes. In 22 playoff games he scored 3 goals and 10 assists. He was 6th overall in faceoff winning percentage in the 2009-10 playoffs. He was 18th in the NHL in that category during the regular season.
He tried to show grit despite his size, and used his craftiness to win battles most of the time. He HAD to or he wouldn't play as he was on a short leash. He couldn't crack the top 6 and was given checking line duties. And crafty he was. He provided plenty of "holy sh*t" moments, and having said that, here is a video compilation/tribute for the little guy:
WELLWOOD AND DEMO GET SILLY
EAT IT, HILLER
EAT IT, BUDAJ
THANK YOU FOR MAKING HENRIK LUNDQVIST LOOK STUPID
STAY CLASSY, AV. I laughed though. I'll admit it.
REMIND YOU OF SOMEONE? Damn, no finish. What a save.
PRAISE FROM TSN. This was definitely a highlight for Woody as a Canuck
MORE ON THAT
DOUSING THE FLAMES? Atta boy!
ROOF JOB VS THE WINGS
YEAH, DON'T COUGH THE PUCK UP TO THIS GUY. This was Game 1 vs the Blues.
Would I take Wellwood over Malhotra as the 3rd line center? No. But he could still fit on several other teams' roster. I guess those teams' GM's don't agree as Woody remains unsigned. He'd probably put up a lot of points in Europe. The wide open game favors him more.
Woody has taken a lot of abuse from his bosses, his mates and the fans but I just wanted to stray from that school bus mentality and give him some credit that I think he deserves. Best of luck in the future and thanks for entertaining us on so many nights. I'm a fan. I'm not ashamed to admit it.