Wellwood and Attitude
In a piece that says that Kyle Wellwood is testing Alain Vigneault’s patience, Kyle is quoted as saying that he’s not overly concerned about the trade deadline next week.
“I don’t know what kind of value I’d have right now,” he said.
Kyle should have mouthed the usual platitudes about controlling the things he can control and trying not to worry about what he can’t control. He is already trying the patience of his coach and this type of self-deprecating humour surely does not go over well with Alain.
Getting traded is the least of Wellwood’s concerns. If Gillis does get a forward next week, Kyle could be going to Winnipeg. Vigneault thinks it is very serious matter – going so far as to call Wellwood out in the media – and Kyle makes light of his circumstance. It is this sort of incident – along with certain pictures – that lead to whispers (shouts, even) about his attitude and approach to the game.
I don’t think those criticisms are fair even though Wellwood isn’t helping himself with his remarks. I think Vigneault should relax. If Wellwood was good enough to score thirty goals a year, he’d be labelled as a happy go lucky guy who maybe marched to the beat of a different drummer. He wouldn’t piss off Alain Vigneault at all.
I’ve been dubious about Kyle Wellwood from the very beginning but that’s based on my assessment of him as a hockey player. I don’t think his bundle of skills – the things he can actually do on the ice – adds up to an NHL player. It isn’t attitude that is preventing Wellwood from scoring 30 goals. He wouldn’t be a better player even if you gave him the personality of Alexandre Burrows. I think we frequently hang “attitude” labels on the not quite good enough snipers and playmakers because their skills are so visible and so attractive.
If Wellwood doesn’t succeed in the league, the storyline will be that another very talented player’s career foundered on the rocks of character and work ethic. That will be nonsense because, except in a very narrow sense, he is not a very talented player.