Looks like there could be a Kris Versteeg-Peter Chiarelli reunion in Edmonton.
Per TSN’s Darren Dreger, Versteeg is “close” to agreeing to a training camp PTO with the Oilers, this after insurance complications prevented him from cementing a deal with Swiss club SC Bern.
The Chiarelli-Versteeg relationship dates back 10 years. Versteeg, originally picked by Boston at the ’04 draft, was flipped to Chicago for Brandon Bochenski in 2007 — considered to be one of Chiarelli’s worst moves during his time as Boston’s GM.
Chiarelli was familiar with Bochenski as the two spent time together in the Ottawa organization, but that familiarity failed to translate to success with the Bruins. Bochenski appeared in just 51 games for the B’s over two seasons, and had a stint in AHL Providence.
Versteeg, meanwhile, put up two 20-goal seasons in Chicago, was named a Calder finalist and helped the ‘Hawks win the Stanley Cup in 2010.
Bringing Versteeg into camp makes sense for Edmonton on a number of fronts. One, it’s a low-risk move for a guy that had a productive campaign last year — 15 goals and 38 points in 77 games split between Carolina and L.A.
Of course, this year’s first-round pick, Jesse Puljujarvi, is also a right winger and expected to play in the NHL right away.
Update: The Oilers have made it official announced the signing of Versteeg to a tryout contract.