It appears that a two time Stanley Cup Winner may have played his final game in the National Hockey League.
According to a report from Flames TV host Ryan Leslie veteran right winger Kris Versteeg is very close to signing a deal with a franchise in the Kontinental Hockey League. Leslie has not named the team that has made Versteeg the offer but presumably if he is seriously considering the deal it's due to the fact that it is better than any offer he has received in the NHL.
Versteeg is coming off a very difficult season with the Calgary Flames, one in which he appeared in a total of just 24 games. Versteeg suffered a very serious hip injury during the regular season that sidelined him completely and that, as well as the fact that Versteeg has never played a full 82 games season, seems to have been enough to put teams off the idea of offering the 32 year old winger an NHL contract. There may have been some professional tryout offers out there but a KHL deal is guaranteed money while a PTO doesn't guarantee much at all.
In spite of what will now seem like a rather unceremonious exit from the NHL off the back of a pretty ugly injury, Versteeg can hold his head high having accomplished a great deal in his NHL career. As a 5th round pick(134th overall) he greatly exceeded expectations by appearing in 643 games over his career split between the Chicago Blackhawks, Toronto Maple Leafs, Philadlephia Flyers, Florida Panthers, Carolina Hurricanes, Los Angeles Kings and Calgary Flames. Over his NHL career he accumulated 149 goals and added 209 assists for a total of 358 points.
The greatest accomplishments of his career however of course came during his time as member of the Blackhawks organization. Versteeg was a member of the 2010 Chicago Blackhawks who captured the Stanley Cup that year, although he was not there for the entire trilogy. When the Blackhawks captured the Stanley Cup again in 2013 they did it without Versteeg but he then returned in 2015 capturing his second Stanley Cup Champion 5 years after his first.
Photo Credit: Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune