May 18, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wingKris Versteeg
(23) during the third period in game one of the Western Conference Final of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at United Center. Chicago Blackhawks defeats the Los Angeles Kings 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
We had so much fun doing our Countdown to Faceoff series last season that we decided to do it again. The calendar has turned into September ,we look at jersey numbers from past and present as we count down the days until October 9th and opening night against the Dallas Stars.
We are down to 23 days until opening night and we find ourselves at Kris Versteeg a player whose 2nd coming wasn’t nearly as good as the first go around. Versteeg switched numbers upon arrival to his current #23 but he never could find his old game after returning.
Versteeg is still just a year away from major knee injury so hopefully this season will be an entire different trip than last year where game in and game out Versteeg just couldn’t play the game he wanted to or is capable of playing.
A lot of Hawks fans were hoping for Versteeg to get traded this off season but with half of his contract being paid by the Florida Panthers in a salary cap world it’s seems unlikely that Versteeg will be anywhere but Chicago this upcoming season.
In the end we are all hoping to hear Versteeg rap next summer right?!?
Here is a quick look the rest of the Blackhawks that have worn #23 in franchise history.
1. Paul Shmyr-1969-1971 Shymyr played 84 games with the Hawks scoring 8 goals and 37 assists to kick off his 343 NHL game career.
2. Christian Bordeleau-1973 Bordeleau played 23 games for Chicago picking up 6 goals and 8 assists.
3. Doug Crossman-1974-1975 Crossman played the first 159 games of his 914 NHL game career with the Hawks. During his stay he collected 25 goals and 70 assists.
4. Behn Wilson-1984-1988 Wilson was a member of the Blackhawks for the final 4 seasons of his 601 game NHL career. With Chicago he scored 39 goals 105 assists.
5. Wayne Van Dorp 1989-1990 Van Dorp played 70 games with Chicago, he scored 7 goals and 4 assist during his stay.
6. Stu Grimson 1991-1993 Grimson was a 10th round draft pick by the Detroit Red Wings that carved out a career with over 2,100 minutes in penalties. While with the Hawks he scored 4 goals 5 assists and 400 penalty minutes.
7. Neil Wilkinson-1994 Wilkinson laced it up for the Hawks for one season scoring 3 goals and 9 assists.
8. Daniel Gauthier-1995 Gauthier only saw 5 games of NHL action all with the Blackhawks, His only stat is 5 shots on goal.
9. MiKe Prokopec-1996-1997 Prokopec was a 7th round pick in 1992, he only saw 15 games of NHL action all in Chicago with no points and a career -5.
10. Joe Reekie-2002 Reekie played his last 17 games of his 902 NHL game career with Chicago. He had 2 assists with the Hawks to finish off his career.
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11. Jim Vandermeer-2004-2008 Vandermeer played 171 times wearing #23 for the Blackhawks. During his tenure he scored 11 goals and 41 assists in Chicago.
12. Aaron Johnson-2009 Johnson played one season with the Blackhawks putting 3 pucks into the back of the new with five assists.
13. Jeff Taffe-2011 Taffe dressed once for the Blackhawks with an appearance on the scoresheet.
Only 23 days until Opening night! For more Blackhawks updates and conversation follow us on Twitter @Blackhawk_Up or Like our Facebook page at Blackhawkup