Jan 17, 2011, 11:44 AM EDT
The long rumored and awaited signing of former Canucks and Maple Leafs forward Kyle Wellwood has finally happened. St. Louis finally got Wellwood inked to a contract, a one-year deal for what’s believed to be a pro-rated $650,00. Wellwood will now be on waivers for the next 24 hours as he’s coming back to the NHL from playing in Europe.
Wellwood tried out with Phoenix during the preseason but didn’t make the cut for Dave Tippett’s team. Wellwood then signed with Mystishchi Atlant of the KHL. There he scored five goals and had three assists before getting out of his contract to return to North America to be with his family. Wellwood can be a very serviceable player as a center with his ability to win faceoffs and he’s got some offensive skills. Right now the Blues can use every little bit of help they can get as they’ve slipped down in the Western Conference standings.
Whether or not the Blues get burned by waivers will be the true drama for them. They had their plans of keeping Marek Svatos foiled by Nashville when they claimed him after the Blues signed the former Avalanche star and it’s possible that Nashville could do it to them all over again. The Predators have had health issues at center all year long and there’s no doubt they could use the, essentially, free help. With the relatively inexpensive and cap-friendly contract, anyone in need of an NHL experienced center could be a factor.
For now though, Wellwood as a Blue makes sense with the team still without T.J. Oshie and doing everything they can to stay in the playoff hunt in the West.
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