Saturday, November 16, 2013

Blackhawks Trade for Versteeg with Panthers

The Chicago Blackhawks have re-acquired Kris Versteeg in a trade with the Florida Panthers according to the Chicago Tribune.  In addition to Versteeg, the Panthers have traded Philippe Lefebvre, in return for prospects Jimmy Hayes and Dylan Olsen.

It is reported that the Panthers have also agreed to take on half of Versteeg's salary through his current contract term.  Versteeg's salary for this season is $4.6 million according to capgeek.com, but his AAV is $4.4 million through the term of the contract.

Versteeg is in his second stint with the Blackhawks, having been a key contributor to Chicago's 2010 Stanley Cup Championship.  During that regular season of 2009-10, Versteeg contributed 44 points in 79 games (20 goals, 24 assists), and then tallied 14 points (6 goals, 8 assists) in the playoffs en route to hoisting the Stanley Cup.

Although Versteeg can fill a variety of roles for the Blackhawks, as reported by Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune, he could wind up contributing to a very particular need the Blackhawks have:
Versteeg could fill the gaping hole on the penalty kill left with the departure of Michael Frolik in a trade the Jets during the summer.
Phillippe Lefebvre is a left winger who signed as a free agent with the Montreal Canadiens in 2009.  He spent most of 2011-12 and part of 2012-13 with their AHL affiliate Hamilton Bulldogs, contributing 18 points in 92 regular season games.  Lefebvre was part of the trade between Montreal and Florida that sent enforcer George Parros to the Canadiens.  You can see some of Lefebvre's offensive skill on display, in this video, taken while he was with the Drummondville Voltigeurs of the QMJHL.

Jimmy Hayes is a big right winger who played collegiately for Boston College.  He was originally drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2008 prior to a trade which sent him to Chicago in 2010.  Hayes has spent parts of the past three NHL seasons with the Blackhawks, contributing 13 points in 43 games.  He had most recently been playing with Chicago's AHL affiliate Rockford Icehogs.  Watch Hayes score on a backhand spin move while with Chicago, here.

Dylan Olsen is a 22 year-old left-shooting defenseman born in St. Lake City, Utah, but hailing from Canada, who was selected in the first round of the 2009 NHL entry draft by the Blackhawks.  After two seaons with the University of Minnesota-Duluth, Olsen spent time with the Rockford Icehogs, notching 11 points in 50 regular season games for that squad during the 2012-13 campaign.  Olsen flashes his offensive skill from the point in this video.  

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