Former Blackhawks forward Kris Versteeg announces his retirement

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CHICAGO, IL – JUNE 15: Kris Versteeg #23 of the Chicago Blackhawks celebrates with the Stanley Cup after defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-0 in Game Six to win the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final at the United Center on June 15, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

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CHICAGO – When fans reflect on the decade of the 2010s for the team, he’ll be one of those players that fans remember fondly for his contributions to a dynasty.

He wasn’t there for all three championships like others, but Kris Versteeg did his part to help the franchise during a pair of Stanley Cup title runs.

Now after eleven years, the forward is deciding to call it a career.

On Tuesday, the forward officially announced his retirement from professional hockey, having played 643 games in the NHL along with 93 postseason games. Sixty-six of those came while a member of the Blackhawks from 2007-2010 and 2014-2015.

That included the team’s Stanley Cup championships in 2010 and 2015.

Making his NHL debut early in the 2007-2008 season, Versteeg enjoyed a breakout 2008-2009 season in which he had 22 goals and 31 assists. Along with helping the Blackhawks to the Western Conference Finals, Versteeg finished third in the Calder Trophy voting for the NHL’s top rookie.

The next season Versteeg had 44 points (20 goals, 24 assists) as the Blackhawks won their first championship since 1961. In 22 games during the playoff run, he scored six goals and eight assists.

A cap casualty after that season, Versteeg was traded to the Maple Leafs in the summer of 2010 and would play for them along with the Flyers and Panthers before being traded back to the Blackhawks in November of 2013.

He had ten goals and 19 assists in 63 games during the regular season and helped the team to the Western Conference Finals, where they lost to Los Angeles in seven games. The next season, his last full campaign in Chicago, Versteeg had 14 goals and 20 assists as the Blackhawks won another Stanley Cup title.

Once again, he was traded due to salary cap concerns in the fall of 2015 and was traded to Carolina. He played for the Hurricanes, Kings, and Flames between then and 2008.

After time in the KHL and SHL, Versteeg returned to the Blackhawks’ organization for one more run as he joined the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL. He’d play just six games there and then three for Nitra of the Slovak Tipsport Liga to finish out his hockey in 2019-2020.

Versteeg took part in the Blackhawks’ “One More Shift” this past December, but didn’t officially announce his retirement until Tuesday.

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