Versteeg with the Chicago Blackhawks in December 2014
May 13, 1986 |
Lethbridge, AB, CAN
|Height||5 ft 10 in (178 cm)|
|Weight||182 lb (83 kg; 13 st 0 lb)|
Toronto Maple Leafs
|NHL Draft||134th overall, 2004
Kristopher Royce Versteeg (born May 13, 1986) is a Canadian professional ice hockey winger currently playing for the Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League (NHL). He is a two time Stanley Cup champion with the Blackhawks in 2010 and 2015.
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.
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.
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 (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.
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.
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 Nordstrom.
On June 2, 2015, Versteeg and his wife, Brittany welcomed their first child, a son named Jaxson James.
Regular season and playoffs
|2005–06||Red Deer Rebels||WHL||57||10||26||36||103||—||—||—||—||—|
|2010–11||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||53||14||21||35||29||—||—||—||—||—|
- "Blackhawks ship Bochenski to the Bruins". m&c.com. 2007-02-03. 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.
- "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.
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