Calgary, AB – Versteeg attended Edmonton Oilers’ training camp on a professional tryout, and made a positive impression on many. But at the end of camp, Versteeg reportedly turned down an offer from the Oilers. The Calgary Flames confirmed the signing of Versteeg.
After sending Linden Vey to Stockton today Calgary made the bold move to sign Kris Versteeg, to a 1yr/950k contract.
Versteeg’s signing could bring depth and skill to the Flames who struggled last year, Versteeg also brings a pedigree that has two Stanley Cups from his time in Chicago. His most recent season split between Carolina and Los Angeles seen him collect 38 points in 77 games.
“It’s the start of free agency and before July 1, I told my agent that at the personal level, I have two young children now and I want to be close to home,” Versteeg told CalgaryFlames.com. “So Calgary and Edmonton we’re two places that I really wanted to key in on and try to be a part of their organizations.
“I couldn’t thank Edmonton enough for the opportunity coming into camp and through negotiations, we decided to wait a little longer and talking to the Flames and feeling their excitement, it made me excited.
“It’s a huge part for me, being close to home with my family. Being on a team that’s on the verge of winning, too …They’re a young team with a lot of great young talent. There’s a lot factors.”
While he grew up with a 403 area code and spent a large chunk his junior career with the Lethbridge Hurricanes, Versteeg’s childhood allegiances lay with the Flames’ rivals up north thanks to his parents.
Mom and Dad, it seems, will have to swap allegiances in the Battle of Alberta.
“I was actually an Oilers fan growing up, so was my mother and my dad, but my grandparents are Flames fans, so there’s always the argument within the family,” he chuckled. “I was really never given the option, but for my parents now, they just cheer for whoever I play for. Their loyalty to teams changed the minute I started playing in the NHL.”
Given the timing of the signing, Versteeg has yet to talk to the coaching staff to see where they feel he will fit but he’s confident he will be able to slide into the lineup seamlessly.
WeLiveForHockey 2016/17 Lineup prediction:
Gaudreau – Monahan – Versteeg
Tkachuk – Bennett – Brouwer
Ferland – Backlund – Frolik
Bouma – Stajan – Chiasson
Giordano – D.Hamilton
Brodie – Engelland
Jokipakka – Wideman
Kulak – Grossmann