But it turns out that's not all to the story, as Wellwood had his own reasons for wanting out of the contract: his wife, Bianca, is pregnant. From Atlant's website, (and then crudely translated by Google:)
Reason that prompted him to return [...] pregnant wife. Bianca, Franco-Canadian, is expecting a baby [in] four months. Kyle and Bianca lived in the town of Windsor. This is in Ontario, Canada - across the river from the American city of Detroit.
That certainly explains a lot. It might even explain why the characteristically checked-out Wellwood seemed to be playing even more lackadaisical than usual: he was homesick, and with good cause. Later in the interview, Wellwood admits, "It's hard to leave [my] wife in such important days without my attention."
In previous interviews, Wellwood briefly touched on having a girlfriend back home, and at times, we got the sense he felt very alone in Russia. These interviews mentioned about a girlfriend, not a wife, so either we were duped by a translation, or Kyle was recently married during a trip home (perhaps propelled by certain unexpected circumstances). We're not sure.
Either way, this is an exciting time for Kyle and Bianca, and it seems perfectly understandable for Kyle to want to be with her now.
The article also makes it seem like the split with Atlant was much more amicable than we were originally led to believe.
We can say only the kind words about staying Vellvud in our club, "said CEO of Atlanta Andrew Ropes. "We are grateful to him for his speech, his goals and hard work. And on behalf of all of our fans wish Kyle a successful career in the future."
And where will Kyle go next? It's possible an NHL team picks him up for the stretch drive, but more than likely, the Wellwood family will find a home in Europe. Ever the pacifist, Kyle admits a preference for Switzerland, and remains steadfast in his belief he's not cut out for the AHL.
From where I'm sitting, an AHL salary would more than feed my children, but my kids won't be Wellwoods. Genetics indicate Welly's kid will likely cost a pretty penny to keep fed.
"I will continue his career this season? Yes, I plan. But in the NHL right now I have no one to sign and play in the AHL is not interesting to me, can not feed [my] family. Possible, take Bianca and again return to Europe - move into the Alps… Swiss mountain air will benefit [my] wife ..."
We at PITB wish Kyle nothing but the best going forward, and we'll continue to report whenever his wild and wonderful world drops news bombs like this one.
Many thanks to Irene, as usual, for the Wellwood tip.