VANCOUVER - The Vancouver Canucks claimed forward Kyle Wellwood off NHL waivers on Wednesday.
The 25-year-old Wellwood no longer fit into the plans of the Toronto Maple Leafs after a disappointing season. The Leafs were likely not going to offer the restricted free agent a qualifying offer to retain his rights.
``We're really pleased, we think he's a guy that we are prepared to put a lot of time and effort into and work with,'' Canucks GM Mike Gillis told The Canadian Press. ``We're quite pleased to have acquired him.''
Wellwood had 21 points (8-13) and a minus-12 rating in 59 games last season while earning US$950,000, the last year of his contract. He showed promise the previous season when he collected 42 points (12-30) in 48 games. But he has been plagued by groin problems over the last two years.
The Canucks are eager to find some offence after struggling to score goals last season.