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Should Kris Versteeg dress in Round 2?

By Sean Fitzgerald

Mar 9, 2014; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Kris Versteeg (23) during the game against the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

During the regular season General Manager Stan Bowman reacquired Kris Versteeg from the Florida Panthers in exchange for Jimmy Hayes and Dylan Olsen. Versteeg was added to bring another versatile forward to the Blackhawks group of forwards. The Blackhawks were hoping they would get a quality player in Kris Versteeg. Versteeg played in 63 regular season games with the Blackhawks. He scored 10 goals and 19 assists with a plus 9 plus/minus rating. With the Blackhawks Versteeg averaged 0.46 pts per game, a career worst.

In my mind Versteeg was a disappointment with the Blackhawks this regular season. Despite putting up a career worst in points, Coach Joel Quenneville stuck Versteeg on the top line to start the playoffs series against the Blues. Versteeg was somewhat effective in the first two games of the series with the Blues.  In Game 1 against the Blues, Versteeg had 1 assist, 4 shots, 2 Penalty minutes in 29:01 minutes of ice time. In Game 2 Versteeg had 1 assist in 12:42 of ice time. Versteeg’s production and ice time declined the rest of the series. Versteeg did not register another point after Game 2.

Coach Quenneville was so disappointed in Versteeg’s play that he stated before Game 5 that he needed to see more from him. Quenneville and the coaching staff must have not seen enough because Versteeg was scratched from the Game 6 lineup. Joakim Nordstrom took his roster spot. Nordstrom did not see the world on fire in Game 6. He got 2:07 of Ice time in which he recorded no shots, no assits, and no points.

With the Blackhawks advancing to the second round of the playoffs, the question is: Should Versteeg dress in Round 2? The answer is NO! Here are the reasons why he should not dress. Versteeg does not win pucks in the corner, he does not shoot when he is open, and commits stupid penalties. Versteeg also cannot be used on the penalty kill. Versteeg only played for 8:49 in Game 5. I see no point in dressing a guy who does not add value to your team. The Blackhawks should dress Nordstrom or please free Jeremy Morin from the playoff bench. Nordstrom is versatlie and is a responsible on defense. Morin would bring another offensive minded player to the Blackhawks lineup.

The Blackhawks will find out who their second round opponent is after tonight. The Minnesota Wild will take on the Colorado Avalanche in Game 7 on 4/30/2014. The clock is ticking on the Versteeg roster spot.

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