Editorials

Chicago Blackhawks, Kris Versteeg Should Not Pair Again

By Sean Fitzgerald
Mar 15, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Los Angeles Kings right wing Kris Versteeg (10) tires to redirect the puck past Dallas Stars goalie Antti Niemi (31) during the second period at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 15, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Los Angeles Kings right wing Kris Versteeg (10) tires to redirect the puck past Dallas Stars goalie Antti Niemi (31) during the second period at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /
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Kris Vesteeg is heading back to North America, and the Chicago Blackhawks should avoid him

Former Chicago Blackhawks forward Kris Versteeg will not be playing in the Swiss League this upcoming season. Versteeg failed his physical with Swiss Side SC Bern and his contract was voided because of it.

Versteeg voided his contract in the Swiss Side SC Bern because their health plan would not give him full coverage because of a preexisting condition. The preexisting condition was due to surgery he had in 2004.

Bern claimed it was not aware of Versteeg’s condition before signing him to a contract. Versteeg is now a free agent once again and back in North America.

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So this is a match for the Blackhawks, right? They’re having depth issues at forward as it is.

With Versteeg magically available and the Chicago Blackhawks looking for a veteran forward after losing out on Jimmy Vesey and Jiri Hudler, it should be a done deal, right?

Please NO!

Life doesn’t begin at 30

Versteeg started last season with Carolina Hurricanes after the Chicago Blackhawks sent him there following the 2014-15 season. The ’Canes, who are rebuilding through the draft and savvy trades, parlayed Versteeg into Valentin Zykov and a conditional fifth-round pick from the Los Angeles Kings.

Zykov spent the last season in AHL. Before joining the Kings late last season, Versteeg had 11 goals and 22 assists in 63 games with the ’Canes.

After he joined the Kings, Versteeg had four goals and one assist in 14 games. He did appear in all five of L.A.’s playoff games but didn’t have that much of an impact. The Kings let Versteeg go without even batting an eye.

His NHL prospects were so bad he was taking his talents overseas before failing a physical. His prospects in the NHL previously could have been bad for monetary reasons and not because of the decline in Versteeg’s play. He may not have not wanted to play for the league minimum.

Professional tryout future

With Versteeg not being offered a contract as of yet, he figures to be offered a Professional Tryout Contract with some NHL team. I hate to admit this, but Blackhawks General Manager Stan Bowman’s love for Versteeg almost guarantees he gets a PTO with the Hawks.

If he plays halfway decently in his PTO and one either Tyler Motte or Nick Schmaltz struggles, expect Versteeg to be back in a Blackhawks sweater.

The Blackhawks do not have tons of a cap space to offer any free agents. They currently have $2,398,206 in space for this upcoming season, and Bowman loves to have some in reserve for the trade deadline.

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My hope is that Versteeg gets a PTO and catches on with another NHL team. I just hope it is not the Blackhawks. On Kris Versteeg, Stan: Please just say NO.

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