Though it was clear there wasn’t a lot left on the table for Kris Versteeg after he decided to part ways with the Rockford IceHogs earlier this season, today the veteran forward has officially announced his retirement from professional hockey.
What a run it was. A kid from North Lethbridge who played on the streets every day, dreaming of playing in the NHL. 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 staff of the hockey clubs I played for.
A bunch of people have made huge impacts on my life. There was one guy who took a kid with a different personality and a massive chip on his shoulder and helped give him hope, and that was Scott Gordon. Dale Tallon also took a chance on me and gave me multiple opportunities throughout my career. I know I wasn’t always the easiest to deal with. Without people like Scott and Dale, the road to today would not be what it was.
Versteeg did have a chance to win one last time after he left the IceHogs, winning the Spengler Cup with Team Canada. His NHL career finished in 2017-18 with the Calgary Flames, after 643 regular season games. Versteeg recorded 358 points during those contests and added another 48 in 93 playoff appearances. The feisty forward won the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks twice, once as a high-scoring youngster in 2010, and again as a more subdued veteran role player in 2015.
Technically Versteeg’s professional hockey career ended in Slovakia, where he played a handful of games with HK Nitra alongside his brother Mitch Versteeg. Pulling on another sweater was surely nothing new for the journeyman forward, who played at least one game with seven different NHL franchises.