Should Versteeg Factor Into Flyers Long Term Plans?

It was reported a month ago (and mentioned here) that Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren spoke with Ville Leino prior to trading for Kris Versteeg. The gist is that acquiring Versteeg and his $3.083 million contract, which has one more year on it, would prevent the Flyers from extending Leino until the offseason.

Leino approved of the trade, believing it will help boost the team’s chance of winning the Stanley Cup this season. The question that remains now is whether Versteeg will factor into the Flyers plans beyond this season.

Having given up both a first round and a third round draft pick in the 2011 NHL draft, one would think that the team is looking at him beyond a rental.

His cap hit is a bit high, but the salary cap is anticipated to increase by $2 to $3 million next season with the strengthening of the NHL market in the U.S. over the past year (excluding Phoenix, Atlanta, Miami and St. Louis). That may mean that cheaper additions like Eric Wellwood and Erik Gustafsson will make the big club sooner than they’re ready, but it is manageable.

Where Versteeg’s intangible value lies for this team is his role as Mike Richards’s right winger for the future. Over the course of the last two seasons, Richards has been skating with the likes of James Van Riemsdyk, Andreas Nodl, Nikolai Zherdev, Dan Carcillo, and Simon Gagne. There’s talent in that mix, but there hasn’t been much top-six consistency.

Versteeg was placed in the position of third line center on Tuesday, but his 1 for 11 face-off winning record suggests that he should stick to the winger position.

There have been times when Richards and Versteeg appeared to be clicking, notably the most recent games against the Toronto Maple Leafs. He had a terrible third period on Saturday, though, which is likely why he was placed on a separate line from Richards.

A Nodl-Richards-Versteeg line, though, has the potential to be a very potent third line for the foreseeable future.

It remains to be seen how the Flyers will fill the 2011-12 roster under the new salary cap, but Holmgren has managed to push the envelope year after year to moderate success. Versteeg mat very well have a position with the Flyers for some time.

7 thoughts on “Should Versteeg Factor Into Flyers Long Term Plans?

  1. I think Richards and Carter are the problem and way overrated and over-paid
    which hurts the club in aquiring more quality depth throughout the roster..

  2. Well, he’s still got another year under contract. I still don’t see how we keep Leino next year. Giroux’s salary bump should eat up all that free cap space, correct me if I’m wrong. Carter is a little overpaid bit I love Richer’s grit and two-way play. He’s never gonna be a 40 goal scorer but he leads by example (most of the time).

  3. Carter is a 30-40 goal scorer.
    Richards does everything for this team. If you want him to score more, then you have to give him consistent talent to play with. He is constantly playing with different faces, and when he gets some consistency it is with Carcillo or Nodl. Neither of those guys are going to help Richards get more points. If you put him with Versteeg, then he has another legit playmaker on his line. Versteeg has great vision and is a good passer. If you put those 2 with a Knuble type player, they would score a ton of points.

  4. Richards is a very good player who just seem to come up small in the big games or against the good teams..

  5. Before last year’s playoffs, I would agree with you, but 23 (7G, 16 A) points in 23 games. He did have -1 for the playoffs, but that is because he is playing against the other teams top line most of the time.

  6. too early to tell. he has not done too much to this point but the team has not done much lately either. if he plays well throughout the playoffs than that will tell the story.

    @paulman – stay to commenting on football, this is where you are at your best….hockey not so much. richards and carter are winners. they have won at every level they have played and if this holds true they will raise the cup (hopefully this spring)

Comments are closed.

Skip to toolbar