Kristopher Royce Versteeg (born May 13, 1986) is a Canadian professional ice hockey winger currently playing for the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League (AHL). He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010 and 2015.
Versteeg warming up with the Chicago Blackhawks in December 2014
May 13, 1986|
Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
|Height||5 ft 11 in (180 cm)|
|Weight||176 lb (80 kg; 12 st 8 lb)|
|Position||Right wing / Left wing|
Toronto Maple Leafs
Los Angeles Kings
134th overall, 2004|
Originally selected 134th overall in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft by the Boston Bruins, he played with the club's minor league affiliate, the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League (AHL), for parts of two seasons before being traded to the Blackhawks. Versteeg continued playing in the AHL with the Blackhawks' affiliates until making his NHL debut during the 2007–08 season. The following campaign, he received a nomination for the Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL's best rookie. In his second full season with the Blackhawks, he helped the club win the Stanley Cup in 2010. Following Chicago's Cup win, Versteeg played for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Philadelphia Flyers and Florida Panthers before being traded back to Chicago during the 2013–14 season, winning the Stanley Cup again in 2015.
Early career and Boston BruinsEdit
Versteeg was drafted 134th overall in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft by the Boston Bruins, after a four-year Western Hockey League (WHL) career spanning from 2002–03 to 2005–06 and spent with the Lethbridge Hurricanes, Kamloops Blazers and Red Deer Rebels. During his time with Lethbridge, he played with future Blackhawks teammate Brent Seabrook for three seasons. Versteeg made his professional debut, playing in the final 13 games of the 2005–06 season with Boston's American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Providence Bruins.
Versteeg remained with Providence for the beginning of 2006–07 before being traded by Boston on February 3, 2007, along with a conditional draft pick, to the Chicago Blackhawks for Brandon Bochenski. As a result, he moved within the AHL to Chicago's minor league affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals. Versteeg then played for the Rockford IceHogs in 2007–08, as Chicago switched its AHL affiliation. He made his NHL debut that season as he was called up for a total of 13 games, recording two goals and two assists.
Versteeg played his first full season with the Blackhawks in 2008–09. On January 1, 2009, he scored the opening goal of the 2009 Winter Classic held at Wrigley Field against the Detroit Red Wings. Finishing the season with 22 goals and 53 points, second in rookie scoring to Bobby Ryan of the Anaheim Ducks, he was nominated for the Calder Memorial Trophy as rookie of the year along with Ryan and goaltender Steve Mason of the Columbus Blue Jackets for his efforts. Mason ended up winning the Calder.
Versteeg's entry-level contract expired after the 2008–09 season, which would typically have made him a restricted free agent (RFA). However, a clerical error in which the Blackhawks failed to tender qualifying offers to their pending RFAs by the league deadline led to speculation Versteeg and several of his teammates would become unrestricted free agents. As a result, the NHL Players' Association (NHLPA) filed a grievance on the players' behalf. Shortly thereafter, on July 8, 2009, he re-signed with the Blackhawks to a three-year contract, worth nearly US$9 million.
Versteeg's offensive production dropped in his second full NHL season, recording 20 goals and 44 points over 79 games. In the 2010 playoffs, he added 14 points in 22 games, helping the Blackhawks to a Stanley Cup championship, defeating the Philadelphia Flyers in the Finals. His name was originally misspelled "Kris Vertseeg" when engraved on the Stanley Cup, but was quickly corrected.
Toronto Maple LeafsEdit
Due to salary cap restraints, the Blackhawks were forced to trade away several players in the off-season, including Versteeg. On June 30, 2010, he was dealt to the Toronto Maple Leafs along with the rights to prospect Bill Sweatt in exchange for forwards Viktor Stålberg, Chris DiDomenico and Philippe Paradis. He recorded his first Gordie Howe hat trick (a goal, an assist and a fight) with the Maple Leafs in a game against the Ottawa Senators on October 9, 2010; he scored against Pascal Leclaire, assisted on a goal by Phil Kessel and fought Mike Fisher.
After recording 35 points over 53 games with the Maple Leafs in 2010–11, he was traded for the second time in his career on February 14, 2011. Toronto sent him to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for first-round and third-round draft picks. Versteeg joined the team that he helped defeat in the previous season's Stanley Cup Finals and scored seven goals to go with four assists during the remainder of the regular season. He scored one goal during the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, which came in the final game of Philadelphia's fourth game 5–1 loss to the Boston Bruins in the second round.
On July 1, 2011, the Flyers traded Versteeg to the Florida Panthers for a second-round pick (either 2012 or 2013— Florida's choice) and a third-round pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. The trade came just a few hours after the Flyers announced the signing of Jaromír Jágr.
Return to ChicagoEdit
On November 14, 2013, the Panthers traded Versteeg, along with Philippe Lefebvre, to the Chicago Blackhawks for Jimmy Hayes and Dylan Olsen. Since Versteeg's jersey #32, which he wore during his first stint with the club was being worn by Michal Rozsíval, Versteeg opted to wear #23 upon his return to the club. On June 15, 2015, Versteeg won his second Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks in a 2-0 Game 6 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Stanley Cup Final.
On Sept 11, 2015, Versteeg was again traded by the Blackhawks due to salary cap constraints, along with Joakim Nordstrom, to the Carolina Hurricanes along with a 3rd round pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft for a 5th round pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft and two prospects. The move was done to make more cap space available for Marcus Kruger, who was re-signed the next day. In the following 2015–16 season, Versteeg transitioned to the Hurricanes quickly and was used on the club's top scoring lines throughout the year.
Los Angeles KingsEdit
Versteeg produced 33 points in 63 games before on February 28, 2016, he was familiarly traded at the trade deadline to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for Valentin Zykov and a conditional 5th round pick in 2016 (if Los Angeles advanced to the 2016 Western Conference Final, failed). Acquired by the Kings for depth in their playoff run, the team would fail to make it deep, losing in the first round to the San Jose Sharks. In his stint with the Kings, Versteeg scored 5 points in 14 games, while adding 2 more in the team's 5 playoff appearances.
On July 25, 2016, as a free agent from the Kings, Versteeg opted to pause his NHL career in agreeing to sign a one-year deal with the SC Bern of the Swiss NLA. However, he later failed to pass the medical exam in early September and therefore the contract was voided. On September 9, 2016, Versteeg returned to continue his career in the NHL in agreeing to join the Edmonton Oilers at their training camp on a Professional Try Out.
After a successful training camp with the Oilers, on October 11, 2016, Versteeg rejected a contract offer from the Oilers, opting to instead join provincial rivals the Calgary Flames on a one-year deal worth $900,000 in the NHL. Versteeg enjoyed a productive first season in Calgary, establishing himself as a key contributor on the powerplay. His eight goals with the man-advantage led the team, while his 15 total goals finished tied for fifth. Versteeg finished second in team scoring during the Flames' round-one series against the Anaheim Ducks, tallying a goal and three assists as the Flames were swept in four games.
With Versteeg and Flames management both interested in coming to terms on a new contract, they agreed to a one-year, $1.75 million contract on June 29, 2017. Versteeg played 24 games for the club after suffering a hip injury on November 24, and having surgery on December 4.
On September 1, 2018, Versteeg signed his first overseas contract, joining Russian club, Avangard Omsk of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). In the 2018–19 season, Versteeg was limited to just 11 games with Omsk, recording 5 points, before opting to leave in signing for the remainder of the season with Swedish contending club, Växjö Lakers of the SHL on February 7, 2019. Versteeg contributed down the tail end of the regular season with 11 points through 12 games. He continued his scoring pace in the post season for the Lakers with 6 points in 7 games.
Return to North AmericaEdit
At the conclusion of the Lakers' season, Versteeg left the organization to return to North America. On April 22, 2019, Versteeg signed a one-year contract with the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League (AHL). For Versteeg, he last played for the IceHogs during the 2007-08 season. The team remain affiliated with the Blackhawks.
Versteeg has developed a reputation within the NHL for his habit of singing in public, as evidenced by his recitation of a portion of Fergie's "Glamorous" on Mouthpiece Sports, as well as performing an altered version of LMFAO's "Yes" during the Chicago Blackhawks' Stanley Cup victory parade. Versteeg also sang Kanye West's verse of the Estelle song "American Boy" in a video clip on Blackhawks TV during his time with Chicago. He continued this tradition during the 2015 Championship Rally by singing Macklemore's "And We Danced" along with Joakim Nordström.
Regular season and playoffsEdit
|2005–06||Red Deer Rebels||WHL||57||10||26||36||103||—||—||—||—||—|
|2010–11||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||53||14||21||35||29||—||—||—||—||—|
|2015–16||Los Angeles Kings||NHL||14||4||1||5||6||5||1||1||2||0|
Awards and honoursEdit
- "Blackhawks ship Bochenski to the Bruins". m&c.com. 2007-02-03. Archived from the original on 2012-04-04. Retrieved 2008-11-11.
- "Ryan, Versteeg, Mason selected as Calder Trophy nominees". TSN. 2009-04-22. Retrieved 2009-04-23.
- Ziehm, Len (2009-07-08). "Blackhawks, Kris Versteeg have deal". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2009-07-08.
- "'Vertseeg' has name misspelled on Cup". Fox News. 2010-09-29. Retrieved 2010-10-04.
- "Leafs send Versteeg to Flyers". The Sports Network. 2011-02-14. Retrieved 2011-02-14.
- "Flyers Trade Versteeg To Panthers" (Press release). Philadelphia Flyers. 2011-07-01. Retrieved 2011-07-01.
- Stubits, Brian (2013-11-14). "Kris Versteeg traded back to Blackhawks by Panthers". CBS Sports. Retrieved 2013-11-16.
- "Hurricanes forward Kris Versteeg joining Kings, traded for a 7th time". ESPN. 2016-02-28. Retrieved 2016-02-28.
- "Kris Versteeg signs with SCB" (in German). SC Bern. 2016-07-25. Retrieved 2016-07-25.
- "Kris Versteeg quits Bern" (in French). rts.ch. 2016-09-06. Retrieved 2016-09-06.
- Darren Dreger (2016-09-09). "Versteeg officially signs PTO with Oilers". Twitter. Retrieved 2016-09-09.
- "Flames sign Versteeg to one-year deal". Calgary Flames. 2016-10-11. Retrieved 2016-10-11.
- "Flames, Versteeg complete one-year deal". TSN. June 29, 2017. Retrieved August 22, 2018.
- Anderson, Kristen. "Versteeg on the mend after hip surgery". Calgary Sun. Retrieved January 2, 2018.
- "Двукратный обладатель Кубка Стэнли Крис Верстиг - в "Авангарде"". www.hawk.ru (in Russian). September 1, 2018. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
- "Canadian forward Versteeg signs with Vaxjo" (in Swedish). Växjö Lakers. 2019-02-07. Retrieved 2019-02-07.
- "Rockford agrees to terms with two-time Stanley Cup champ Kris Versteeg". Rockford IceHogs. 2019-04-22. Retrieved 2019-04-22.
- "Kris Versteeg Raps Fergie in the Chicago Blackhawks Locker Room". YouTube. 2008-11-04. Retrieved 2010-08-15.
- "Kris Versteeg Raps At The Chicago Blackhawks Rally". YouTube. 2010-06-10. Retrieved 2010-08-15.
- "Versteeg has mark of a champion". The Globe and Mail. 2010-09-21. Retrieved 2011-07-11.
- "Versteeg family welcomes new addition". Chicago Blackhawks. 2015-06-03. Retrieved 2015-06-03.
- "Versteeg embarking on new journey". Taber Times. 2016-08-17. Retrieved 2017-10-15.