2-time Cup-winner Versteeg retires after 11 NHL seasons
Two-time Stanley Cup-winning forward Kris Versteeg is retiring after 11 NHL seasons.
The 33-year-old announced his decision through the NHL Players’ Association on Tuesday, and after ending this season playing with his brother, Mitch, with Slovakia’s HK Nitra.
Versteeg was a member of the Blackhawks’ championship teams in 2010 and ’15. He described the winning the Cup in 2010 as the highlight of his career, coming during a postseason in which he had six goals — including two game-winners — and 14 points in 22 games.
He spent five seasons over two separate stints with Chicago. He played his final NHL game with Calgary in March 2018, before spending much of the past two years in Europe.
“What a run it was,” Versteeg said in a statement. “I took a lot for granted in my time in the NHL. But the one thing I never took for granted were the relationships I made with my teammates and staffs of the hockey clubs I played for.”
From Alberta, Canada, Versteeg was selected by Boston in the fifth round of the 2004 draft, and he made his NHL debut with Chicago during the 2007-08 season. Versteeg was an NHL rookie of the year finalist the following year, when he had 22 goals and 53 points in 78 games.
He finished with 149 goals and 209 assists for 358 points in 643 career games split over seven teams. He missed a majority of the 2012-13 season due to chest and knee injuries and was limited to playing 24 games in 2017-18 as a result of hip surgery.
At 5-foot-11 and 175 pounds, Versteeg acknowledged he played with a chip on his shoulder and might not have “always been the easiest to deal with.”
He credited Scott Gordon, who coached him at AHL Providence, and Dale Tallon for helping further his career. Tallon twice acquired Versteeg in trades, first as the Blackhawks general manager in 2007, and then in the same role with the Florida Panthers in 2011.