Blackhawks Trade Versteeg To Hurricanes

Blackhawks Trade Versteeg To Hurricanes&h=235&w=320&zc=1

The Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks shook up their roster a bit on Friday, shipping forward Kris Versteeg to the Carolina Hurricanes in a multiplayer deal. Chicago sent Versteeg, forward Joakim Nordstrom and a third-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft in exchange for defensive prospect Dennis Robertson, the rights to unsigned defenseman Jake Massie, and a fifth-round pick in 2017. Following the completion of the Versteeg deal the Blackhawks signed restricted free agent forward Marcus Kruger to a 1 year contract.

Chicago has very little cap space to play with and reportedly agreed to a one year deal worth $1.5 million with Kruger. Kruger had been hoping for a longer term deal and didn’t file for salary arbitration in hopes of getting a multiyear contract. Following the Versteeg deal, the Blackhawks reportedly were $1.8 million under the salary cap. Kruger said that he’s just going to focus on playing hockey and not worry about the business end of the sport: “Right now, I just try to focus on getting in the best shape I can be in a month from now. That’s all I can do. Then, I think everything else will sort out. I love playing hockey. I know I’m going to do that. We will see what happens, but I’m not too worried about it.”

For the Hurricanes, Versteeg is a veteran forward that can hopefully add some much needed offensive punch. Following the deal, Hurricanes’ GM Ron Francis commented on his team’s newly acquired players: “Kris is a skilled forward who has won a pair of Cups with the Blackhawks and can provide veteran leadership in our room. Joakim is a solid, 200-foot player who can kill penalties. This gives us more options up front for this season, while also now giving us 10 picks in the first three rounds over the next two drafts.”

The 29 year old Versteeg won a Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 2010 and 2015. Last year, he had 14 goals and 34 points in 61 regular-season games. Nordstrom is a physical player that will likely be used on special teams and in situational matchups. Francis has focused on ‘getting younger’ since coming to Carolina, thus the draft picks were a welcome addition to the deal.

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