Kris Versteeg

Florida’s Versteeg latest locked-out NHLer to take coaching gig

Panthers forward Kris Versteeg has joined the growing list of locked-out NHLers moving behind the bench.

Versteeg, 26, has reportedly agreed to join the staff at the University of Lethbridge (Alberta) and will make his coaching debut this weekend.

A Lethbridge native, Versteeg will serve as a temporary replacement for ex-Pronghorns assistant Jeff Truitt, who has been hired by Brent Sutter to become an associate coach with WHL Red Deer.

As mentioned earlier, a number of locked out players have decided to try their hand at coaching:

— Columbus’ RJ Umberger is doing volunteer work at his alma mater, Ohio State. (link)

— Colorado’s Ryan O’Byrne joined the staff of the BCHL’s Victoria Grizzlies. (link)

— Toronto’s John-Michael Liles is behind the bench at Culver Academy in Indiana. (link)

In a similar vein, veteran goalie Dwayne Roloson was reportedly offered the goaile coaching gig in Toronto, but turned it down to continue his playing career.

Flames release Ryan Wilson from PTO

Ryan Wilson, Sidney Crosby
Leave a comment

The Calgary Flames have released Ryan Wilson from his professional tryout.

The 28-year-old was trying to make a comeback after missing 79 games with a shoulder injury last season.

Even with T.J. Brodie sidelined because of a broken hand, Wilson still faced long odds to make the final roster.

The veteran will be hard-pressed to find NHL work with another team.

He hasn’t suited up in more than 12 regular season games since 2011-12.

The Stockton Heat, Calgary’s AHL affiliate, also made some news on Sunday.

The club announced that they’ve signed Colton Orr to an AHL contract.

The 33-year-old tough guy suited up in just one game for the Toronto Maple Leafs last season. He has 12 seasons of NHL experience under his belt.

‘Yotes return Dylan Strome to OHL

Dylan Strome, Nikita Nikitin

The Arizona Coyotes have returned Dylan Strome to the Erie Otters of the OHL.

Strome, 18, was the third overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft.

The 6’3, 185 pounder was hoping to stick with the Coyotes this season, but the team decided to take the conservative approach with their top prospect.

Strome will look to build off an incredible junior season that saw him score 45 goals and 129 points in 68 games.

Strome seems to be taking the demotion in stride.

The team also announced that they’ve assigned goaltender Louis Domingue and forward Matthias Plachta to their AHL affiliate in Springfield.

Domingue, 23, had a 1-2-1 record with a 2.73 goals-against-average and a .911 save percentage in seven games last season.

Plachta, a free agent signing, will begin his first pro season in North America. The 24-year-old had 14 goals and 35 points in the German League last season.