We had so much fun doing our Countdown to Faceoff series last season that we decided to do it again. In case you’re new to the series, we’ll do a roster preview as we count down the days until the Chicago Blackhawks raise their 6th Stanley Cup Banner on October 7th season opener against the New York Rangers.
We are slowing getting down to zero in our countdown, but today we arrive at the number 23 which was sorn by Kris Versteeg the past two seasons. Of course this past Friday Versteeg for the second time in his career was sent packing following a Stanley Cup Championship season, and both times were for the same reason which of course is the salary cap.
Versteeg in his second go around with the Chicago Blackhawks wasn’t nearly as good as the original Versteeg, although he was having a pretty solid season on the line with Brad Richards and Patrick Kane until he broke his wrist at the Winter Classic. When Versteeg returned the magic of that line never really materialized and in the end Versteeg just was filling a roster spot with only the fan base complaining about him on most nights.
Now, Versteeg is a Carolina Hurricane along with Joakim Nordstrom so maybe he can find his groove with a team that should finish towards the bottom of the Eastern Conference Standings.
Here is a snapshot at some of the other #23’s in Chicago Blackhawk 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.
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.
We are down to 23 short days until opening night.
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