Just spoke with Kris Versteeg. Sounds very much like a guy with a contract agreed to in EDM. We will wait for announcement.
— Mark Spector (@SportsnetSpec) October 10, 2016
According to Sportsnet’s Mark Spector, the Oilers could be close to announcing a new contract for PTO forward Kris Versteeg.
While we await confirmation of Versteeg signing, it is clear that he would fill a void on the Edmonton Oilers.
The right-shot, right-winger has played in 550 NHL games with six different franchises. With two Stanley Cup rings, both with the Chicago Blackhawks, Kris Versteeg would bring a much-needed level of playoff experience to a young, inexperienced roster.
The Oilers, who we all know haven’t seen the playoffs in 10 years, have been sorely lacking the qualities that a veteran player like Versteeg can bring to the table. In his career, the now 30-year-old has scored 131 goals and 313 points.
Last season, Versteeg split time between the Carolina Hurricanes and the L.A. Kings where he registered 15 goals and 38 points in 77 games. At even-strength last year, Versteeg scored at a rate of 1.7 points per 60 and was a 58.6% Corsi player.
If the Oilers do indeed sign Kris Versteeg, it would put the team at 48 contracts.
In September, Jason Gregor spoke with Versteeg, who had this to say as to why he chose Edmonton:
Gregor: I’m assuming a few other teams offered you a professional try out, why did you choose Edmonton?
Vertsteeg: Yeah, we had a lot of teams interested in PTOs and talked about them all. Me and my agent kind of sat back and talked about where a good fit for me would be if I could make the lineup and earn a contract. For me the big thing was if I come and play and get to play with guys around me and seeing the calibre of players here was very exciting. Another thing was it being near home, and trying to play in front of my friends and family.
Everywhere I’ve played has been pretty far away and this is a pretty exciting time with the Oilers with the new players coming in and the new building and everything, so it seemed like a good place for me to try my luck and put my best foot forward and try to help be a solution for the organization to get back to the playoffs.
Gregor: There is the Connor McDavid factor, the brand new arena and also I’m sure the lack of experience on the right wing?
Versteeg: Yeah we talked about openings too on teams. This team has a lot of talent, it’s full throughout the lineup with a lot of good players, so I’m going to have to work hard to earn a job here and that’s what I expect to do. I expect to go out and earn a spot and I’m excited about the challenge, but like you said, they have Connor McDavid.
I’ve been fortunate enough in my time in the NHL to play with some pretty amazing players and see them up close so I’m excited about seeing him at camp whenever the World Cup of Hockey stuff is over. It’s always exciting being around those guys. They push you to be better every day and like you said, the depth on the right side. I’ve played both wings so it’s wherever the coach sees fit, that’s where I’m going to try my best and try to succeed and become a part of the team, and sign and deal in whatever position they want me to play.
Versteeg’s Career So Far…
|2010-11||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||53||14||21||35||29||-13||—||—||—||—||—|
|2015-16||Los Angeles Kings||NHL||14||4||1||5||9||6||5||1||1||2||0|