Blackhawks

Kris Versteeg joins Blackhawks All-Decade Team

Kris Versteeg joins Blackhawks All-Decade Team

A valuable contributor to two Stanley Cups and an aspiring rapper Chicago didn't know it had, Kris Versteeg was a special breed.

Before he spit verses and busted rhymes of his own at the Blackhawks 2010 Stanley Cup championship rally ⁠— and sang Macklemore's "And we danced" at the 2015 celebration with Joakim Nordstrom ⁠— the speedy winger had 44 points (20 goals, 24 assists) during the 2009-10 regular season. He tagged on an impressive 14 points (six goals, eight assists) to help the Hawks hoist the Cup in 2010. 

Versteeg also had strong numbers the prior year with 53 points; 22 goals, 31 assists, the latter of which lead all rookies, in the regular season. He was named to the NHL's All-Rookie Team for the 2008-09 season.

He had 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in the 2009 playoffs before Chicago was eliminated by the Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference Final. 

The Lethbridge, Alberta, native was selected in the fifth round at No. 134 overall by the Boston Bruins in the 2004 NHL Draft. The Bruins traded Versteeg to the Hawks on Feb. 3, 2007, for forward Brandon Bochenski. Versteeg made his NHL debut with the Blackhawks on Nov. 22, 2007, against the Calgary Flames.

Versteeg was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs three weeks after the Hawks won the Cup in 2010. He also played in Philadelphia again and spent parts of three seasons in Florida with the Panthers before being traded back to Chicago for Jimmy Hayes and Dylan Olsen on Nov. 15, 2013. He had 34 points (14 goals, 20 assists) during the 2014-15 season and a goal and an assist in the 2015 playoffs.

After being traded to Carolina following the Hawks' 2015 championship, Versteeg also spent time with the LA Kings and Calgary Flames. He returned to the Chicago area this year to captain the Blackhawks' AHL affiliate the Rockford IceHogs for six games before asking to have his contract terminated.

The forward was honored with "One More Shift" before the Dec. 15 game against the Minnesota Wild this year. 

Versteeg, now 33, is the only NHL player to score a goal at Wrigley Field (Winter Classic on Jan. 1, 2009), Soldier Field (NHL Stadium Series vs. Pittsburgh Penguins on March 1, 2014) and the United Center, doing it all with the Blackhawks.

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2010 Hawks Rewind: 3 things we noticed in Blackhawks' Game 4 win over Canucks

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AP

2010 Hawks Rewind: 3 things we noticed in Blackhawks' Game 4 win over Canucks

In honor of the 10-year anniversary of the 2010 Stanley Cup team, NBC Sports Chicago is re-airing each of the Blackhawks' 16 postseason wins from the run that ended a 49-year championship drought. You can join the conversation using #HawksRewind on social media.

After regaining home-ice advantage with a 5-2 win in Game 3, the Blackhawks rolled past the Canucks 7-4 in Game 4 to take a commanding 3-1 series lead in the Western Conference semifinals. Here are three things we noticed in the win:

1. A power play explosion

The Blackhawks' job going into Vancouver was to win at least one of the two games to take back home-ice advantage. They did that in Game 3. But Game 4 was the icing on the cake.

The final score was 7-4, but the reality is, the Blackhawks were outplayed in this game at even strength, where they generated only 27 shot attempts and 13 scoring chances while the Canucks had 55 shot attempts and 27 scoring chances, according to Natural Stat Trick.

It was special teams that made the difference. In their first nine postseason games, the Blackhawks went 7-for-37 on the power play for a success rate of 18.9. In Game 4 against Vancouver, they exploded for four goals on eight opportunities. 

2. A career night for Jonathan Toews

Fresh off a three-point effort in Game 3, Toews followed that up by recording a career-high five points, highlighted by his first career postseason hat trick. All three goals were scored on the power play, the third of which turned out to be the game winner. It was his fifth multi-point outing of the playoffs in his ninth game.

The Blackhawks' stars willed their team to a victory in Game 4, and they followed the lead of their captain.

3. Don't forget about Patrick Sharp

While Toews dominated the scoresheet, there's another Blackhawk who also had a big night: No. 10 in white. Sharp scored a power-play goal, had three assists and won five of six faceoffs in the win that helped him secure the No. 2 star of the game.

Here's a fun fact to wrap up: Sharp recorded at least one point in seven of his first 10 games of this postseason, and 15 of 22 total. He had 13 points (five goals, eight assists) through his first 10 games following a four-point effort in Game 4.

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Hawks Rewind: Game 4 of 2010 Western Conference Semifinals

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AP

Hawks Rewind: Game 4 of 2010 Western Conference Semifinals

Sunday night at 7 p.m. during another "Hawks Rewind," Blackhawks fans will be privy to another must re-watch.

Sunday's Hawks classic is 2010's Game 4 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Vancouver Canucks.

The Hawks took a 2-1 series lead after Dustin Byfuglien exploded on goalie Roberto Luongo and Vancouver with a hat trick and debilitating physicality in Game 3.

Game 4 of the series can be looked back at as the height of the Blackhawks-Canucks rivalry. 

Vancouver was looking to even the series in not just wins, but in physical play and scoring on home ice. Unfortunately for them, Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews and his team would find another gear.

Toews finished Game 4 with three power-play goals for the hat trick plus two assists to help the Hawks to a 7-4 victory and 3-1 series lead.

Chicago kept up the rough stuff, too. Byfuglien went hard to the net again and remained in Luongo's kitchen for long stretches, creating an effective screen to help the Hawks go 4-for-8 on the power play. He also drew consecutive cross-checking penalties from defenseman Shane O'Brien.

Patrick Sharp scored a power-play goal in the second period, and Thomas Kopecky and Dave Bolland added goals in the third. 

Antti Niemi made 26 saves, while Luongo stopped 27.

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