Via Darren Dreger, Kris Versteeg is expected to sign with Bern in Switzerland’s NLA this weekend. The forward totaled four goals and five points in 14 regular season games and one goal and two points in five playoff games with Los Angeles after he was acquired from Carolina in exchange for prospect Valentin Zykov. A conditional draft pick was also included in the trade, though the conditions of the draft pick were not met.
It’s curious that Versteeg would sign with a European team when there was likely significant interest in his services in the NHL. HERO charts aren’t necessarily the supreme revelation of a player’s worth, but it’s clear that he’s still more than a replacement level-type NHL player.
Does anyone else find it strange Versteeg is heading to SUI? Still playing at a great level. pic.twitter.com/ebopYNmQ52
— zach laing (@zjlaing) July 22, 2016
It has been speculated that financial considerations may have influenced Versteeg’s decision to sign abroad. In 550 games with the Blackhawks, Maple Leafs, Flyers, Panthers, Hurricanes and Kings, the hard-nosed if a touch undersized winger totaled 131 goals, 313 points and a plus-20 rating. He topped out at 54 points with Florida in 2011-12 and won Stanley Cups in 2010 and 2015 with Chicago.
Off-season departures of players previously under contract to Los Angeles:
Vincent Lecavalier – Retired
Milan Lucic – signed with Edmonton
Jeff Schultz – signed with Anaheim (two-way)
Jamie McBain – signed with Arizona (two-way)
Nick Ebert – traded to Dallas
Defenseman Luke Schenn and goaltender Jhonas Enroth remain unsigned.