The Edmonton Oilers have signed forward Kris Versteeg to a professional tryout contract.
Versteeg, 30, played 77 games in the NHL last season. He had 15 goals and 23 assists for Carolina and Los Angeles.
“With McDavid and the new rink, that’s always enticing and exciting for anybody,” says the Lethbridge native. “Trying to be around family and play in front of them every night would be great for me, too.”
He had signed to play with Bern in the Swiss League over the summer, but he and the team parted ways because of an insurance issue.
“I showed up one-hundred percent healthy,” Versteeg explains, though the club wasn’t going to fully cover his insurance because of hip surgery he had in 2012. “I didn’t want to sign a contract where I wasn’t fully covered, so we just parted ways. It was fine. Both sides agreed on it. My time in Bern was great. I was there practicing. It’s tough it didn’t work out, but there’s always a blessing in disguise. I hope this is the blessing.”
For his NHL career, Versteeg has 313 points in 550 games. His career high is 54 points with Florida in 2011/12. He plans on arriving in Edmonton next week. (jrw)