The Chicago Blackhawks made a small roster move and brought back a veteran player.
Kris Versteeg signed an AHL deal with the Rockford IceHogs after a stint overseas.
The Hawks' forward will primarily take on the mentor role and help the Hawks' prospects get ready to make the move to the NHL, however if things fall into place, Versteeg might get the call up himself.
“I don’t think I have any doubt in my mind that I can play at the NHL level,” Versteeg said. “That’s not really what I signed up for at this point, though. I signed up to be a mentor for the young guys. I’m looking forward to that. I expect to play really well, and there’s a lot I can show them, and a lot I can learn from the young guys, too. I still want to play because I still think I can play at the NHL level. But I signed this contract first and foremost because of my loyalty to the organization.”
Over the years Versteeg has stayed in contact with Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and Corey Crawford and he'd love to join them in the Hawks' locker room again next year.
“That’s what drives me, to get back to the NHL,” Versteeg said. “I signed this contract because I want to be able to play and I want to be able to help an organization that has done so much for me. But I’ve missed over 150 games because of injuries. Now, I feel really good. And I’ve always had the confidence in myself that I can play at the highest level. That’s not where I’m at right now, though. I’m going to go help Rockford and these young guys, then let the cards fall where they do. And if an opportunity opens up, that’s great. But it’s not my focus.”