Versteeg’s Possible Impact


To nobody’s surprise, the Oilers signed Swiss league reject, Kris Versteeg, to a PTO. That sounds a bit harsh, doesn’t it? I’ll be honest, I’m on the fence about this and I’ll tell you why.

  • Versteeg said on Jason Gregor’s show there was a previously repaired injury that scared off the Swiss team (Bern) and they weren’t willing to take all the risk in fear of that injury turning into sickness or something to that regard.
    • Is that the reason NHL teams weren’t willing to take a chance on him at the beginning of August. He did say there were “a lot of teams” interested but he wanted to have some security with regards to where he’d be due to the child that was going to be born.
      • So he decided on Bern in the Swiss league? I’m lost here.
    • Did his agent not do his homework with regards to how insurance works in Europe? Honestly.
  • The other thing that puts me off about this is that he’s going to come in and IF he stays healthy and plays well enough to earn a contract, whose job is he taking?
    • Does it matter, though?

On the plus, having a 2-time Stanley Cup winner on the team is that much better for the roster right? If provides a number of things that the Oilers don’t have.

  • Depth.
    • Versteeg can play either side which means if Hendricks can’t go, then Maroon can be moved down and Versteeg can fill in on the left side. And likewise on the right side, if Yak or Eberle are having a tough time, this gives the Oilers a very nice option to fill in.
  • Allows prospects more time to marinate in the AHL.
    • Puljujarvi needs to go to the AHL for the beginning of the year at least.
    • Slepyshev and Pitlick, I’m not sure about those two yet. I really want them to come up and do something worthy but having them available in Bakersfield doesn’t hurt either.
    • Cagguila need not worry about starting the year in Edmonton. Like Poolparty, he should get some time in the minors.
  • He’s played with the best.
    • Kane, Toews, Kopitar, Doughty, and Eric Staal to name a few…

I was thinking that if the Oilers could get Versteeg, Mike Richards, and possibly Eric Gryba under contract for the next season; that would make me feel better because the guys we have now haven’t instilled much confidence in their ability to play at an NHL level. Also, there are a few Stanley Cups in there with Richards and Versteeg, and that experience is of the utmost value to a young team.

But on the other side of the coin, what if these guys are simply not good enough anymore? The Oilers would be stuck with two or three players that would be a drag on the roster, no? Adding players who have played for Stanley Cup winners has to be a good thing right or is there a reason as to why they are signing PTOs?

Let’s look at the potential impact on the roster.

L1 – Pouliot – McDavid – Yakupov: Is this wishful thinking? Played quite well last year together for a small time.
L2 – Lucic – RNH – Eberle: Ebs and Nuge have chemistry. Add in an angry grizzly and I wonder what happens?
L3 – Versteeg – Draisaitl – Richards: Leon is definitely insulated here and Versteeg has some offense to boot.
L4 – Maroon/Hendricks – Letestu – Kassian: Rag tag bunch here eh? Physical but how effective could they be?

Or how does this lineup tickle your fancy?

L1 – Lucic – McDavid – Eberle
L2 – Versteeg – RNH – Draisaitl
L3 – Pouliot – Richards – Yakupov
L4 – Maroon – Letestu – Kassian

I reckon that Yak will get the short end of the stick even though his possession numbers really improved last year. It’s a blatant fact that Nail Yakupov is a better player when he’s played with top 6 players but he finds a way to rub coaches the wrong way and no amount of positive stats that show his impact and value on the team are persuasive enough to get him in that top 6.

The fact of the matter is, Versteeg is not an Edmonton Oiler right now and even if you like it or don’t like it, that’s the way it is. Maybe I’m just scared that he might be better than Yakupov and we’ll be stuck watching Yak toil away in the bottom 6 for another year.

Let me know in the comments below your thoughts on the possibility of the Oilers going to camp with either Mike Richards or Kris Versteeg or both!

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Beer League Hero Written by:

I'm the Beer League Hero! I am from Camrose, Alberta but I make my home in Taipei City, Taiwan. I've been through the ups and downs and the highs and the Lowes, the Bonsignores and the McDavids, the Sathers and the Eakins but I'll never leave my Oilers, no matter what! They're with me until the end and then some. GO OILERS GO!

  • Greenday

    Yakupov’s game has suffered not only because of the forwards he’s played with but also because of the defenseman he’s played with. Besides the merry-go-round of different centremen Yakupov has been played with, more often than not, he’s also been on the ice with third pairing right defenseman. Then people write that Yakupov doesn’t make the players around him better, but that’s like saying Yakupov should have been able to cure the problem of poverty in India.