ROCKFORD, Ill. – Former Rockford IceHogs forward and team captain Kris Versteeg announced his retirement Tuesday after 14 professional seasons, including parts of two campaigns with the IceHogs, and 11 National Hockey League seasons.
During his career he was part of two Stanley Cup championship teams with the Chicago Blackhawks. Versteeg announced his retirement through the National Hockey League Players Association.
Statement from Kris Versteeg from the NHLPA:
“What a run it was. A kid from North Lethbridge who played on the streets every day, dreaming of playing in the NHL. I took a lot for granted in my time in the NHL. But the one thing I never took for granted were the relationships I made with my teammates and staff of the hockey clubs I played for. A bunch of people have made huge impacts on my life.”
“There was one guy who took a kid with a different personality and a massive chip on his shoulder and helped give him hope, and that was Scott Gordon. Dale Tallon also took a chance on me and gave me multiple opportunities throughout my career. I know I wasn’t always the easiest to deal with. Without people like Scott and Dale, the road to today would not be what it was.”
Versteeg, 33, competed in six games with the IceHogs this season, adding one assist, but battled injuries in his time in the Stateline. He originally signed a one-year AHL contract with the club on Apr. 22 and was named the 11th IceHogs AHL captain on Oct. 2. After the injuries mounted up, Versteeg and the IceHogs mutually agreed on his release from his AHL contract on Nov. 17 which allowed him to head overseas to join Team Canada to compete and eventually capture the Spengler Cup alongside IceHogs goaltender Matt Tomkins.