A Former Toronto Maple Leafs Forward Hangs up His Skates

Kris Versteeg #32 and Tomas Kaberle #15 of the Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Kris Versteeg #32 and Tomas Kaberle #15 of the Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

A former member of the Toronto Maple Leafs and two-time Stanley Cup champion has chosen it’s time to walk away from the game.

For most professional athletes, it’s very difficult to know exactly when is the right time to call it a career. This week, a former Toronto Maple Leafs forward decided that his time is now.

33-year-old Kris Versteeg who had already split with the Rockford IceHogs, the farm team for the Chicago Blackhawks, earlier this season, announced he was hanging up his skates.

Versteeg played just a part of one season with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Prior to the start of the 2010-11 season, the right-winger had just come off winning the Stanley Cup and he was a very desirable player. The Leafs put together an enticing package in order to get him.

Versteeg was Traded to Toronto by the Blackhawks along with Bill Sweatt. The swap saw Viktor Stalberg, Chris Didomenico, and Phillipe Paradis all sent to Chicago in return.

Versteeg played 53 games for the Leafs that season before he was flipped to the Philadelphia Flyers for their first and third-round picks in the 2011 NHL Draft. Toronto eventually used those picks to select Stuart Percy and Josh Leivo.

While he was in Toronto, Versteeg didn’t do anything overly spectacular. He managed to have just a single game where he posted three points. In that game in Atlanta, Versteeg scored a goal and added a pair of assists. His next best total was two points, a mark he reached in ten games with Toronto.

In his short time with the Leafs, Versteeg recorded 35 points from 14 goals and 21 assists. He had decent metrics as well. Versteeg had a Corsi rating of 50.5, which was 0.9 better than his team.

Versteeg hasn’t played an NHL game since 2018. Since then he’s actually competed in four leagues. He played in the Kontinental Hockey League, Swedish Hockey League, American Hockey League, and the Slovakian Extraleague.

Versteeg played for seven different teams but only found real success with the Blackhawks. After competing for the Leafs, Flyers, and Florida Panthers, he went back to Chicago to win his second cup.

In his career, the Alberta native played 643 games. He scored 149 goals and 209 assists for a total of 358 points. He could have had even more if he wasn’t slowed down by injuries.

Versteeg had four consecutive 20-goal seasons and then he had a string of injuries. He hurt his hip, knee, hand, and groin. After his best season where he had 54 points, Versteeg was limited the next year to just ten games. He was never the same after that. His time in the NHL effectively ended as a result of hip surgery.

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In his retirement, Versteeg is looking forward to beginning a new career in broadcasting. He’s hinted that it could be as a member of the Sportsnet family.