NHL Signing: Florida Panthers, Kris Versteeg Agree To Four-Year Contract
The Florida Panthers avoided salary arbitration with forward Kris Versteeg when the restricted free agent agreed to a four-year contract on Monday. No financial terms were disclosed, but TSN’s Darren Dreger reports that the contract will have an average annual value of $4.4 million per season.
Versteeg, 26, had career bests in goals (23) and points (54) while playing in 71 games for the Panthers last season. He set a Florida franchise record with 25 points (11 goals, 14 assists) in his first 20 games played with the Panthers and recorded his first career hat trick on November 10 at Winnipeg. Versteeg played in all seven of Florida’s postseason contests, scoring three goals and adding two assists.
“Kris played an important role in our club’s success last season and we are pleased to have reached a long-term contract agreement with him,” executive vice president and general manager Dale Tallon said in a statement. “He is a skilled player who recorded career highs in goals and points last season while playing on our top line alongside Stephen Weiss and Tomas Fleischman. We look forward to his continued offensive production, as well as his off-ice contributions in the South Florida community.”
Versteeg has scored 88 goals and 113 assists for 201 points in 321 career games with Chicago (2007-10), Toronto (2010-11), Philadelphia (2010-11) and Florida (2011-12). In 57 postseason games, he has 14 goals and 37 points, and was a member of the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup-winning team in 2010.
Versteeg was acquired from Philadelphia in exchange for a conditional second-round draft pick and a third-round pick in the 2012 NHL Draft.
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