On Monday afternoon, the Rockford IceHogs announced they had signed two-time Stanley Cup Champion Kris Versteeg to a one-year, AHL contract through the 2019–20 season. Versteeg won two Cups with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010 and 2015, having last played for Avangard Omsk (KHL) and Vaxjo HC (SHL) this past season.
IceHogs sign former Blackhawk Kris Versteeg
The IceHogs have signed former Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup Champion Kris Versteeg for the upcoming 2019–20 season. Versteeg’s one-year deal will be an AHL deal, meaning if he is to play for the Blackhawks next season, he would have to sign a separate NHL-level contract. Versteeg has been out of the NHL this year after playing for the Carolina Hurricanes, Los Angeles Kings, and Calgary Flames after leaving the Blackhawks in the Summer of 2015.
During the 2007–08 season, Versteeg played for the IceHogs in their first season as the AHL affiliate for the Chicago Blackhawks. In 56 games, Versteeg tallied 49 points and 174 penalty minutes. He also added 11 points in 12 Calder Cup Playoff games that postseason. In his NHL career, Versteeg has skated in 643 games with 358 points and won two Stanley Cups with the Blackhawks, first in 2010 and then again in his second stint with the organization in 2015.
While he faced health issues prior to signing with Avangard Omsk in the KHL this Fall, Vertseeg was cleared to play and in 11 games in the KHL, he tallied five points. He joined Vaxjo HC of the SHL in Sweden in February and played in 12 games, tallying 11 points to finish the regular season. In seven SHL Playoff games, Versteeg added six points for Vaxjo HC.
After signing his AHL deal with the Rockford IceHogs, Versteeg joined Rockford play-by-play broadcaster Joseph Zakrzewski to talk about his role with the AHL club, his journey around the NHL and the world playing Hockey and returning to Rockford.
Turning 33 in May, Versteeg’s signing with the IceHogs suggests the organization wants to have a veteran player that they trust inside the young Rockford locker room next season. This could, in turn, help guide the next crop of young talent in the AHL. With a handful of prospects already in the Rockford system and another promising group expected for the 2019–20 season, the organization looks to be investing in Versteeg to aid the development of high-priority prospects making the jump to the professional game.