Several NHL teams are interested in signing free agent forward Kris Versteeg to a professional tryout (PTO) contract, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger. While the interested teams are still unknown, Versteeg is expected to be back in North America on Friday.
Versteeg signed a contract with SC Bern of Switzerland’s National League A, on July 25, but there are conflicting stories regarding why he is headed back to North America. On Monday, news surfaced that he was leaving the club due to insurance coverage complications, but a report out of Switzerland the next day said Bern terminated Versteeg’s contract after he failed “medical tests.” The report did not provide any specifics, but Versteeg has had hip issues in the past.
At age 30, Versteeg is seemingly still a serviceable player at the NHL level. He split the 2015-16 season between the Carolina Hurricanes and Los Angeles Kings and registered 15 goals and 38 points in 77 games– equal to his point total in 81 games in 2013-14. The veteran has played in 550 career regular season games and has scored 131 goals and 313 points. He has also been a member of two Stanley Cup teams with the Chicago Blackhawks.
With many NHL teams set to open training camp without some of their biggest stars because of World Cup play, and Versteeg’s age and experience, it seems like only a matter of time before he receives a PTO.