RALEIGH, N.C. – Kris Versteeg couldn’t resist.
The Carolina Hurricanes forward will always be close with his former Blackhawks’ teammates, with whom he helped win his second Stanley Cup last spring. But when asked by Hurricanes television who his favorite Blackhawks player to chirp was, Versteeg said that was easy.
“Toewser’s the easiest,” Versteeg said of Jonathan Toews. “He’s just a big baby. He’s just an overgrown baby.”
Of course, Versteeg was joking with the Blackhawks captain. But that didn’t stop him from sending his good-natured ribbing directly to Toews, too.
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“I actually even told him myself, just so people know, I definitely texted him myself and told him that, too,” Versteeg said to laughs. “They asked me [about who to chirp], I thought I’d answer as truthfully as I could.”
Versteeg and the Hurricanes handed the Blackhawks a 2-1 loss in Chicago on Dec. 27. The Blackhawks began what would be a franchise-best 12-game winning streak the next game. As far as Tuesday's matchup, Versteeg knows it’ll be another tough test for a Carolina team that’s gained points in seven of its last 10 games.
“To be a part of this [Carolina] team all season, watching young guys get better and grow and start winning more consistently, especially since December rolled around, it’s been real exciting and rewarding. Hopefully we can keep building on that but we have our work cut out for us tonight,” Versteeg said. “It’s going to be a tough two points and if we put our best foot forward, we’ll give ourselves a chance.”