Posted by: Adventures in Pucking | July 20, 2011

Man of the Day 7/20: Kris Versteeg

Kris Versteeg

Born May 13, 1986 (age 25) in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada

Right winger for the Florida Panthers

Steeger (aka Verbeauty) is a journeyman of sorts. He spent his junior hockey years playing for the Lethbridge Hurricanes, Kamloops Blazers and Red Deer Rebels of the WHL – four years total – and was drafted in 2004 by the Boston Bruins. He played the last 13 games of the 2005-06 season with the AHL’s Providence Bruins and began the next season with them before being traded to his second team, the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Blackhawks put him with their AHL team, the Norfolk Admirals, before the team swtiched affiliates and went with the Rockford IceHogs. He made his NHL debut in the 2007-08 season and was placed on the roster the next season. He did so well that he was a finalist for the Calder Trophy along with Steve Mason and Bobby Ryan (Mason won, btw).

Steeger would’ve been an RFA at the end of the 2008-09  season,  but someone made an oopsie and the Blackhawks never gave their RFAs qualifying offers by the deadline. After the NHL Players’ Association file a grievance, he signed a three year contract with the team.

Then came that magical championship year. Although he didn’t make a splash in the regular season, he racked up 14 points in 22 games and helped the Blackhawks win the Cup. To commemorate the day, he got the date the Hawks won the Cup (June 9, 2010) tattooed on his arm.

Tell us about it, Verbeauty. Even Laddy Boy wants to know.

Then came the Great Salary Cap Purge of 2010, and Steeger was sent to the Toronto Maple Leafs. He did rather well there, racking up 35 points in 53 games and getting his first Gordie Howe Hat Trick (scored against Pascal LeClaire, assisted Phil Kessel and fought Mike Fisher). But then he was traded AGAIN, this time to the Philadelphia Flyers, and played out the 2010-11 regular season. He even scored a goal in the playoffs, even though Boston swept them.

This summer, the Flyers went off their rockers and sent a bunch of their players packing – including Steeger. He was sent to the Florida Panthers in exchange for future draft picks, but he seems to really like it there – he’s reunited with his former Hawks teammates Brian Campbell and Tomas Kopecky. I think the team will do very well with those guys and the others the Panthers signed this summer.

Fun facts: Steeger has more than just the date of the Cup win tattooed on him – he has a lovely tattoo of a Canadian maple leaf on the nape of his neck.

At the Cup rally on Michigan Avenue, Steeger did a special Stanley Cup version of the song “Yes” by LMFAO. He’s also sang portions of a Fergie song as well as parts of the Kanye song “American Boy”. He’s not bad – maybe he could get together with former Maple Leafs teammate Matt Lashoff and record an album.

And in the end, the Stanley Cup wasn't a dream for you.

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