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Kris Versteeg was one of those names still floating in the unrestricted free-agent pool that surprised you.
He split last season with the Carolina Hurricanes and Los Angeles Kings, amassing 15 goals and 23 assists in 77 games, playing an average of 15:23 per night. (His Kings average brought that down, as he was a spare part after the deal.)
Versteeg is a serviceable and versatile winger, having bouncing around six different teams since 2007, including two different stints with the Chicago Blackhawks. He could have helped someone’s top nine, but perhaps that’s the issue: Versteeg, 30, might not want to latch on with a lottery team, and many contenders that could use him are pushed up against the cap.
Plus there’s that whole “seemingly traded every season” thing, which must get tiring.
Rather than wait on PTO season, Versteeg is taking his talents to Bern.
According to Darren Dreger, Versteeg is expected to sign with SC Bern of National League A, a.k.a. the Swiss League.
Just speculating here, but we wonder if Devin Setoguchi might have put a bug in Versteeg’s ear about this move.
After going to rehab for alcohol abuse, Setoguchi left for Davos in the Swiss League back in 2015 and raved about the speed and skill on display. He and Versteeg actually run a hockey camp together in Alberta. So, perhaps Versteeg had some intel on what the Swiss League had to offer, and was sold on it.
Fare thee well, Kris Versteeg. We shall miss your free-styling.