ROCKFORD, Ill. – Former Rockford IceHogs forward and team captain Kris Versteeg announced his retirement today after 14 professional seasons, including parts of two campaigns with the IceHogs, and 11 National Hockey League seasons highlighted by two Stanley Cup championships with the Chicago Blackhawks. Versteeg announced his retirement through the National Hockey League Players Association.
Statement from Kris Versteeg from the NHLPA:
“What a run it was. A kid from North Lethbridge who played on the streets every day, dreaming of playing in the NHL. I took a lot for granted in my time in the NHL. But the one thing I never took for granted were the relationships I made with my teammates and staff of the hockey clubs I played for. A bunch of people have made huge impacts on my life. There was one guy who took a kid with a different personality and a massive chip on his shoulder and helped give him hope, and that was Scott Gordon. Dale Tallon also took a chance on me and gave me multiple opportunities throughout my career. I know I wasn’t always the easiest to deal with. Without people like Scott and Dale, the road to today would not be what it was.”
“Thanks to my agent Dave Kaye, and my finance advisor Chris Moynes for the last 15 years. Thank you to every organization I was able to play for. I didn’t realize it then, but I certainly appreciate now how amazing it was to play in the NHL. I want to thank the Chicago Blackhawks’ entire organization, from top to bottom, especially including the fans. The 2010 Championship was the highlight of my career. I also want to thank Brad Treliving for letting me come home to finish my NHL career. As a person and a GM, he made a huge impact on me.”
Versteeg, 33, competed in six games with the IceHogs this season, adding one assist, but battled injuries in his time in the Stateline. He originally signed a one-year AHL contract with the club on Apr. 22 and was named the 11th IceHogs AHL captain on Oct. 2. After the injuries mounted up and his wish to have more prospects see ice time, Versteeg and the IceHogs mutually agreed on his release from his AHL contract on Nov. 17 which allowed him to head overseas to join Team Canada to compete and eventually capture the Spengler Cup alongside IceHogs goaltender Matt Tomkins.
In 62 career games with the IceHogs, the Lethbridge, Alberta, native totaled 50 points (18 goals, 32 assists) and 176 penalty minutes and helped the IceHogs reach the Division Finals of the 2008 Calder Cup Playoffs, adding a team-best six goals during the team’s postseason run.
The veteran forward was originally selected by Boston in the fifth round (134th overall) of the 2004 NHL Draft and combined for 358 points (149g, 209a) in 643 career NHL games between Chicago (2007-10, 2013-15), Toronto (2010-11), Philadelphia (2010-11), Florida (2011-14), Carolina (2015-16), Los Angeles (2015-16) and Calgary (2016-18). He was named to the NHL All-Rookie team during his first full season in the NHL in 2008-09 and won two Stanley Cup championships during his five-season tenure with the Blackhawks.