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Blackhawks trade Versteeg, then agree with Kruger

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The Chicago Blackhawks traded forward Kris Versteeg as part of a multiplayer deal Friday then hours later agreed to terms on a one-year contract with restricted free agent forward Marcus Kruger.

Versteeg, a two-time Stanley Cup winner with the Blackhawks, was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes with forward Joakim Nordstrom and a third-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft for defenseman prospect Dennis Robertson, the rights to unsigned defenseman Jake Massie, and a fifth-round pick in 2017.

Kruger was waiting since July 1 to re-sign with the Blackhawks; he did not file for salary arbitration with the hope of signing a long-term contract.

The 25-year-old scored seven goals and had 10 assists in 81 regular-season games, then had two goals and two assists in 23 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

"Right now, I just try to focus on getting in the best shape I can be in a month from now," Kruger said in August. "That's all I can do. Then, I think everything else will sort out. I love playing hockey. I know I'm going to do that. We will see what happens, but I'm not too worried about it."

Kruger's salary has not been disclosed, but TSN reported it is $1.5 million. After trading Versteeg, Chicago was approximately $1.8 million under the 2015-16 NHL salary cap of $71.4 million, according to war-on-ice.com.

Versteeg, 29, was part of Chicago's championship teams in 2010 and 2015. He had 14 goals and 34 points in 61 regular-season games for the Blackhawks in 2014-15 and one goal and two points in 12 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

He has also played for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Philadelphia Flyers and Florida Panthers.

"Kris is a skilled forward who has won a pair of Cups with the Blackhawks and can provide veteran leadership in our room," Hurricanes general manager Ron Francis said. "Joakim is a solid, 200-foot player who can kill penalties. This gives us more options up front for this season, while also now giving us 10 picks in the first three rounds over the next two drafts."

Versteeg scored at least 20 goals in four straight seasons from 2008-12. The Hurricanes averaged 2.23 goals per game last season, 27th in the NHL.

"For a team like ours that struggled to score goals last year, hopefully he can help us," Francis told the Hurricanes website.

Nordstrom, 23, has played 54 games over parts of two seasons with the Blackhawks, with one goal and six points. He is scoreless in 10 playoff games.

Robertson, 24, spent last season with Charlotte of the American Hockey League and had three goals and 17 points in 57 games.

Massie, 18, was Carolina's sixth-round pick (No. 156) in the 2015 NHL Draft. He had five goals and 20 points last season for Kimball Union Academy, the New England prep small school champion, and six goals and 11 points in 14 games for the Boston Junior Bruins U-18 team.

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