Canucks Army Free Agent Profiles: Kris Versteeg

Kris Versteeg, who is as well travelled an NHL forward as you’ll find, is en course to wear a third jersey in a calendar year as he enters the unrestricted free agent market this summer.

Though Versteeg can no longer contribute in a primary scoring role, he’s a serviceable depth forward that can perform spot duty throughout the entire lineup. The two-time Stanley Cup winner is finishing a four-year deal, valued at $4.4-million per. As a serviceable depth forward in the twilight of his career, Versteeg is likely to take a pay cut as a member of the second free agent tier this summer.

HERO Chart:

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Career Statistics:

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The Scouting Report:

Versteeg, a fringe first liner for most of his career, can no longer play in a premier scoring role at this stage in his career. The cold reality is that time and the rigours of professional hockey caught up with Versteeg and rendered him a depth piece.

That isn’t to say Versteeg’s skill has all but evaporated. He is a crafty, sneaky sniper that skates well and has the shot to back it up, and while time has diminished his scoring knack, Versteeg remains a strong two-way player that’s strong in transition. Any team looking to add a quality depth forward could find Versteeg to be attractive. Having scored 15 goals each year for the past two seasons, there is no doubt of Versteeg being able to bury some of his chances.

The Fit:

Looking at Versteeg from a Canucks perspective, there likely isn’t a fit to be had. The Canucks have Sven Baertschi and Anton Rodin already in the fold for next season, and although not the same player, they fill the same role and skillset as Versteeg. Not to mention, the Canucks are currently overloaded with bottom 9 forwards.

Versteeg, a 10-year veteran, brings with him a winning pedigree, marked by a pair of Stanley Cups with the Chicago Blackhawks. He can also contribute on both phases of special teams, as a penalty killer and power play ace alike.

With that being said, the Lethbridge native just turned 30 years old and doesn’t fit into the Canucks age group. 


The Canucks and Versteeg just don’t seem to be a match.

The Canucks will be looking to an impact forward who can help their offensive attack and Versteeg will likely have a few suitors looking to add him as a depth piece. Whether that be a contender or a team that could offer a bigger role, other teams will likely be more attractive to the winger.

If not a team like Carolina or Toronto may try signing him, and then flipping him for picks at the deadline. Something that the Canucks would be wise to explore, but that is a whole different discussion.

Maybe if the Canucks strike out on the big fish, and Versteeg is still available that a deal could be worked out – but there are too many factors working against that for it to happen.

  • BR(j)ED

    i think he’d be a good match. he’s a younger burrows/higgins type guy. he can still plug a hole in the top 6 when needed, and he might hold a top 6 role for a while if he finds a fit or gets hot. he can bring the young guys along and slip back to the third line if not needed/not contributing without feeling like he has not met expectations. he’s also a proven winner.

    whether he’s available is another matter. but i don’t think he is nearly as unlikely a candidate as some of the others floated recently.

    • Ryan Biech

      Not arguing for getting Versteeg.

      But “better”? Which players besides the Sedins will put up more than 40 points? Maybe Horvat and Sutter if they play a full season and get enough lucky bounces?

  • Ryan Biech


    May I play?

    To summarize (most of this series)

    -You don’t want him

    -We don’t want him

    -Benning won’t want him

    -He doesn’t fit

    -To much term

    -We already have one of him already

    -He’s to old

    -He wouldn’t like it here anyway

    Pardon me if I missed any, I guess I can always go back and read the prior posts more carefully (hey! more clicks).

  • Ryan Biech

    Think Bae Horvat Hansen Sutter Can up around 40 points and with Etem Granlund Virtanen should all put up better numbers with growth this yr. Plus Rodin is a wild card dunno what you are gonna get

  • BR(j)ED

    wow 11-1 trashes, not a lot of love for versteeg going by my first post. i’ll try and explain more betterer.

    i don’t think anyone would want to dump higgins or burrows right now if they were 30. at that age they were both reliable foot soldiers still capable of contributing.

    i’d put versteeg in the same category.

    you have to sprinkle some key veterans into the new cohorts when you form a new legion. you need some quality players in all positions to show the kids how a successful professional team gets through 82 games. if the canucks buy out alex and higgins, they have nobody left in the forward lines except maybe dorsett who cannot skate above the third line. the sedins can give orders fine but they have never been foot soldiers.

    • Ryan Biech

      A lot of Canucka fans believe the way of success is to have an entire team full of sub-25 year olds. Sorta like the Oilers. No veteran guidance so they can lose games after games without a care in the world.

      In a way, I sort of hope that plays out. Make this market (even more) undesirable for FAs and poison the youth so they will be begging to be traded. Years of mediocrity to come, hopefully even longer than the decade long futility of the Oilers.

      Braindead fans deserves this.

  • Ryan Biech

    He’s only coming here because the wife wants to take the kids skiing, that’s all. Just like the rest of the FA’s, it’s all about the checks and bonuses.

    Nobody in their right mind wants to play for the Canucks.