|2008 - Kris Versteeg||78||22||31||53||15||55||6||4||3||0||139||15.8|
The Good: Clearly, a lot. No one saw Versteeg coming. In previous cups of chai here in the Chi (ooh, fancy wordplay!), Kris had shown to be nothing more than a 4th, possibly a 3rd liner, who was too small to play the game he was putting on display. Yeah, well, we didn't get that one right, either. Kris exploded on the scene, Steeger was a point-per-game player through the first 20 games, and showed hands and vision that were maybe second only to Havlat and Kane's on the team. He even was useful on the PK,. There was THAT goal against Dallas, and some other wow moments, including the wrister he buried over Luongo in Game 6. He also had a knack for scoring big goals, like the OT winner against Columbus, or against Carolina late in the season. Oh, and he totally won my friend Ashely's heart.
The Bad: There was some of that as well. The first thing that comes to mind is Kris's turnover tendencies (illiteration too!) Too many times, especially in the postseason, Kris would get caught in possession, waiting to make a play that wasn't there. We love the bravado, but sometimes it isn't there. Kris also never got the memo to chip it in deep against Vancouver or Detroit when the blue line was stacked. A midseason move to center was in the same neighborhood of a disaster. Kris also showed to be streaky, disappearing for games at a time. He faded in the 2nd half when opposing teams were actually watching for him.
Playoff Beard Strength: Solid, you can't go wrong with the strawberry-blonde beard.
Nicknames: Steeger, VerStud, and of course, VERSTEEG!
(we may make shirts of this, depending on his re-signing)
The Grade: Though there were more hiccups than some would like to admit, and I don't think he's an automatic renewal depending on his contract demands and what other teams might offer, considering where he came from and our expectations, Versteeg can't receive anything less than an A from me. But it's up to you, now.