Kris Versteeg (born Kristopher Royce Versteeg on May 13, 1986 in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada) is a Canadian professional ice hockey winger who is currently playing for the Calgary Flames on the National Hockey League (NHL).
He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010 and 2015.
Originally selected 134th overall in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft by the Boston Bruins, Versteeg 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.
He continued playing in the AHL with the Blackhawks' affiliates until making his NHL debut during the 2007–08 season. The following campaign, Versteeg received a nomination for the Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL's best rookie.
In his second full season with the Blackhawks, Versteeg helped the club win the Stanley Cup in 2010. Following his first Stanley Cup win, he 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 which was spent with the Lethbridge Hurricanes, Kamloops Blazers and the Red Deer Rebels).
During his time with the Lethbridge Hurricanes, Versteeg played with future Chicago Blackhawks teammate Brent Seabrook for three seasons. He 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 2 goals and 2 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. He finished the season with 22 goals and 53 points (second in rookie scoring to Bobby Ryan of the Anaheim Ducks).
Versteeg was aso 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, Versteeg re-signed with the Blackhawks to a three-year contract, worth nearly US$9 million. His offensive production dropped in his second full NHL season, recording 20 goals and 44 points over 79 games.
In the 2010 playoffs, Versteeg 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 as "Kris Vertseeg" when it was engraved on the Stanley Cup, but it 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 Stalberg, Chris DiDomenico, and Philippe Paradis.
On October 9, 2010, Versteeg 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. He scored against goaltender Pascal Leclaire which was assisted on a goal by Phil Kessel and fought Mike Fisher.
Versteeg had 35 points over 53 games with the Maple Leafs during the 2010–11 NHL season. On February 14, 2011, Toronto sent him to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for first-round and third-round draft picks.
He 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.
Versteeg 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 2012 entry draft. The trade came just a few hours after the Flyers announced the signing of Jaromir Jagr.
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 sweater #32 (which he wore during his first stint with the Blackhawks) was being worn by Michal Rozsival, he opted to wear #23 upon returning to the team.
On September 11, 2015, due to salary cap constraints, Versteeg was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes (along with Joakim Nordstrom) along with a third-round pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.
Versteeg played for the Hurricanes in 63 games before he was traded to the Los Angeles Kings on February 28, 2016 where he got 5 points in 14 games. After the 2015-16 season, he became a free agent and on October 11, 2016, he signed with the Calgary Flames on a one-year contract.
Versteeg's younger brother, Mitch is currently a defenceman with the Nikkō Ice Bucks of the Asia League Ice Hockey (ALH) in Japan.
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.
He 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.
Versteeg has a tattoo on his upper right arm that reads "06 • 09 • 10" in commemoration of the date he won the Stanley Cup as a member of the Blackhawks.
On June 2, 2015, he and his wife, Brittany welcomed their first child, a son named Jaxson James.
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||—||—||—||—||—|