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Round 2
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Stanley Cup Final

Florida Panthers agree to 4-year deal with right wing Kris Versteeg

Monday, 07.23.2012 / 10:35 AM / News

The Canadian Press

SUNRISE, Fla. - The Florida Panthers and right wing Kris Versteeg have agreed to a four-year contract.

The deal that was one of the top off-season priorities for the reigning Southeast Division champions and eliminated the need for a scheduled Monday arbitration hearing.

Versteeg had career bests with 23 goals and 54 points last season, along with three goals and two assists in Florida's first-round series against New Jersey. He also had his first hat trick last season and scored 25 points in his first 20 games with the Panthers.

Versteeg has 88 goals and 201 points in 321 career NHL games with Chicago, Toronto, Philadelphia and Florida. He also was part of Chicago's Stanley Cup-winning team in 2010.

Versteeg played on Florida's top line last season, alongside Stephen Weiss and Tomas Fleischmann.

I've been getting frustrated lately, and the only thing keeping me sane was the team winning and other people stepping up and scoring. Then you just kind of let it go and realize you can end the series with one shot, that frustration goes away for a brief moment, and that's what happened.

— Montreal forward Max Pacioretty after scoring the series-winner in Game 4 -- his first career playoff goal -- to eliminate the Lightning and send the Canadiens into the second round