The Philadelphia Flyers made a bold move Monday night as they acquired right wing Kris Versteeg from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exhange for a first- and third-round pick at the 2011 Entry Draft.
The Maple Leafs, who acquired Versteeg from Chicago last summer, are currently 12th overall in the Eastern Conference.
"Kris is an exciting young forward," Flyers GM Paul Holmgren said. "He's 24 years old and he'll fit in with our group of players here. He's a quality forward that can play in a lot of different roles for our hockey team. He can move up and down our lineup. He can kill penalties. He can play on the power play. We think he's a guy that over the last few years, particularly in Chicago, has really blossomed into a good forward and we think he's going to be a really good addition to our team."
Versteeg, who has 14 goals and 21 assists this season in Toronto, should bolster an already potent offense -- the Flyers are third in the League in goals per game. The acquisition is a sign that Philadelphia is loading up for what could be another run to the Stanley Cup Final.
Share Philadelphia Flyers coach Peter Laviolette has plenty of time to fill out the lineup card for Tuesday's game at Tampa Bay, but he's hoping he can add Kris Versteeg's name before the puck drops at the St. Pete Times Forum.
"I have not talked to him yet, and I just spoke with (Flyers GM) Paul (Holmgren) briefly tonight, (but) I don't see a reason why he wouldn't be in the lineup," Laviolette said of Versteeg, who was acquired from Toronto on Monday in exchange for a first- and third-round pick at the 2011 Entry Draft. "I'm not confirming that 100 percent. I haven't talked to Kris yet. I know he was scrambling to move and try and get things settled, but there's no problem that I see."
Laviolette knows his newest player awfully well. Versteeg, who had 35 points (14 goals, 21 assists) in 53 games for the Maple Leafs this season, faced the Flyers as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks in last year's Stanley Cup Final. Versteeg had 14 points in 22 playoff games, helping the Blackhawks hoist the Stanley Cup for the first time since 1961.
"He's a tenacious guy that does a lot of things well," Laviolette said. "He can kill penalties, play on the power play, he can play on the top line, play on the checking line. I think he's done a little bit of everything. If you look at our lineup and the way it runs, we're not really comprised of a first line. It's more we're built by numbers. I really just think he can come in and provide some more depth to that.
"Whether he plays with a (Claude) Giroux, he plays with a (Mike) Richards … I'm not sure if I'm going to do anything with (Danny) Briere's line. He's an addition to that skill up front. I'm not sure exactly where it'll fit in line-wise, but I think just more depth."
As far as the Flyers are concerned, the best part about Versteeg's acquisition is that Eastern Conference leaders didn't give up a current NHL player to land the 24-year-old's services. While some might still consider it a steep price to pay, Laviolette is pleased that he didn't have to say goodbye to anybody on Monday night.
RT @TSNBobMcKenzie: TOR trades Kris Versteeg to PHI for two draft picks, including a first rounder.
Hmm, actually thinking about it, I'm not quite sure what to make of it. I kind of got the running joke that a Maple Leaf castoff rarely is an improvement to a team. Versteeg definitely has talent though, and he's signed for at least another year.
Unfortunately this probably means that Nödl is on his way out, and I'm not sure what it means considering Leino and all.
I'd rather have the Cup and Versteeg is a player that can help us win it. Our core is in place, **** the 1st rounder.
Agreed, with all going correctly, that's a 30th overall pick, and I don't care about what he could possibly be 5+ years down the road, Kris Versteeg is a solid winger who can play with Richards, and we lose no roster players, count me in.
We will have enough to sign Leino when the cap bumps up due to the new TV deal next year.
First and Third in 2011 is the word. I bit much in my opinion, but when considering that getting a player developed out of a first round pick is usually considered a good thing, I think it's acceptable.