Former Blackhawks right winger Kris Versteeg joined the Florida Panthers last season, scoring 23 goals and 31 assists in 71 games played. On Monday, Harvey Fialkov of the Sun Sentinel reported Versteeg will be staying in the Sunshine State and has signed a 4-year deal, avoiding today's salary arbitration.
Terms of the deal have yet to be reported.
"Kris played an important role in our club's success last season and we are please to have reached a long-term contract agreement with him," said general manager Dave Tallon. "He is a skilled player who recorded career highs in goals and points last season, while playing on our top line alongside Stephen Weiss and Tomas Fleischman. We look forward to his continued offensive production, as well as his off-ice contributions in the South Florida community."
Versteeg played for the Blackhawks from 2007-10 and recorded 101 points in 170 games. He was drafted by the Boston Bruins in the fifth round of the 2004 draft.
The Chicago Bears fielded a top-10 defense in 2017 and expectations for 2018 may be even higher for a unit that is returning almost all of its key starters.
One of the few offseason additions on defense was outside linebacker Aaron Lynch, who defensive coordinator Vic Fangio has familiarity with during his time in San Francisco and who he hopes will emerge as a pass-rushing complement to Leonard Floyd.
Unfortunately, the Bears have yet to see what that pairing looks like during training camp. Lynch remains sidelined with a bum hamstring. He, along with Danny Trevathan, who's also battling a hamstring issue, missed Monday's practice.
Other Bears to sit out include rookie LB Joel Iyiegbuniwe, LB Kasim Edeball, TE Ben Braunecker and rookie CB Kevin Toliver.
Chicago's linebackers have been beaten up by injuries so far in camp, something that may have contributed to the release of undrafted rookie OL Jeremi Hall. It's unlikely the Bears will keep that roster spot open and they could look to add another linebacker to the training camp roster.
Kyle Long and Allen Robinson were given scheduled rest/maintenance days. Both key starters are recovering from injury and will continue to be monitored throughout the summer.
The first casualty of Chicago Bears training camp took place with the release of undrafted rookie free agent Jeremi Hall, the team announced Monday.
Hall was a longshot to make the final roster after signing with the team in May after a tryout at minicamp. He started 24 games at left guard for the Bulls and was a First Team All-American Athletic Conference selection in 2017.
The Bears have been dealing with injury issues at linebacker throughout the first few days of camp and may need the roster spot to bring in another player for the defense's second level.