CHICAGO - Blackhawks forward Kris Versteeg will be sidelined for about three weeks after he left practice on Tuesday with a lower-body injury.
Chicago coach Joel Quenneville says Versteeg's injury "is not a surgical case," and he doesn't think the winger will be placed on long-term injured reserve.
Versteeg had 10 goals and 19 assists in 63 games for Chicago after he was acquired in a trade with Florida last November. He was coming off a strong training camp, and Quenneville said Wednesday that the forward was "very upset" about the injury.
Ben Smith will move up to Versteeg's spot on the third line, beginning with Chicago's season opener at Dallas on Thursday night. Smith had 14 goals and 12 assists in 75 games with the Blackhawks last season.