Rockford's Independent Newspaper

IceHogs sign Kris Versteeg for 2019-20 season

Staff Report

ROCKFORD — The Rockford IceHogs today announced they have agreed to terms with two-time Stanley Cup champion, forward Kris Versteeg, on a one-year AHL contract that runs through the 2019-20 season.

Versteeg, 32, split the 2018-19 campaign between the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) and Swedish Hockey League (SHL), combining for 16 points (7g, 9a) in 23 games during the regular season. He began the year with Avangard Omsk before posting a nearly point-per-game average with 11 points in 12 games with Växjö Lakers HC in the SHL. Versteeg helped Växjö reach the postseason and finished first on the team with four goals and second overall in scoring with six points during the playoffs.

Prior to 2018-19, the Lethbridge, Alberta native spent each of the previous 11 seasons in the NHL, including winning the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2009-10 and 2014-15. The veteran forward has logged 30+ points eight times during his NHL career and reached the 50-point plateau both in 2008-09 with Chicago (53 points) and 2011-12 with Florida (54 points). Overall, Versteeg has tallied 358 career NHL points (149g, 209a) in 643 games between Chicago (2007-10, 2013-15), Toronto (2010-11), Philadelphia (2010-11), Florida (2011-14), Carolina (2015-16), Los Angeles (2015-16) and Calgary (2016-18).

“I want to come help an organization that’s really given me everything I have today,” Versteeg said during a phone interview.

Versteeg has also helped his team reach the Stanley Cup playoffs in eight of his NHL seasons. He made his NHL postseason debut with 12 points (4g, 8a) in 17 games with the Blackhawks in 2008-09 before posting a career-high 14 points in 22 playoff games with Chicago en route to the Stanley Cup championship in 2009-10. He enters the 2018-19 campaign with 48 points (18g, 30a) in 93 career NHL playoff games from 2008-17.

The winger was originally selected by Boston in the fifth round (134th overall) of the 2004 NHL Draft. He made his NHL debut in 2007-08 and spent his first full season at the NHL level the following year with Chicago, where he was named to the NHL’s All-Rookie Team after ranking first among rookies in assists (31), second in points (53) and fourth in goals (22).

Prior to his NHL debut, Versteeg skated with the AHL’s Providence Bruins during the 2005-06 campaign. He recorded a career-high 72 points (26g, 46a) in 70 AHL games between Providence and Norfolk in 2006-07 and then helped Rockford to the 2008 Calder Cup playoffs by ranking third on the team in scoring with 49 points (18g, 31a) in 56 games during the 2007-08 regular season. In the playoffs, he logged a team-best six goals before Rockford was eliminated by the Chicago Wolves in Game 7 in the Division Finals.

Versteeg returns to the IceHogs with 127 points (46g, 81a) and 226 PIMs in 139 career AHL games between Providence (2005-07), Norfolk (2006-07) and Rockford (2007-08). R.


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