Grading the 2011 Philadelphia Flyers: Kris Versteeg

Today we begin our annual, player-by-player look at the 2010-11 Philadelphia Flyers. In no particular order, we'll analyze one player per day over the next few weeks. First up, right winger Kris Versteeg.


Kris Versteeg

#10 / Right Wing / Philadelphia Flyers

5-10

182

May 13, 1986

10/11 Salary: $3.083 million

11/12 Salary: $3.083 million

11/12 Cap Hit: $3.083 million

Linemates: Mike Richards, James van Riemsdyk (34.87%)

Depth Chart Ranking: No. 3 RW




Basic Stats GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG SOG TOI BkS FO%
2010-11 80 21 25 46 -9 53 6 1 180 17:42 56 48.5
Adv. Stats (key) TOI/60 Corsi Rel QoC Corsi Rel QoT Pts/60 GF/60 GA/60 OZ% Fen% Corsi% Corsi Rel Sh% Sv%
2010-11 13.8 0.860 -0.462 1.68 2.28 2.72 52.8 46.2 47.7 1.8 7.92 0.909

*Corsi% and Fenwick% are Flyers-only. All other stats are full-season.

The Kris Versteeg trade was the big deadline deal the Flyers made to supposedly push them over the top offensively on their path to a Stanley Cup. It was a depth move for a guy who's won a Cup, and it turned the Flyers into by far the deepest scoring team in the NHL. Seven 20 goal scorers (plus one 19 goal scorer) is no joke.

But everybody who watched Versteeg in a Flyers uniform will tell you he didn't live up to expectations, and given the hefty price (a first and a third round pick) Paul Holmgren paid for him, a lot of people are suddenly ready to ship him off again. Cut your losses and such.

For the right deal, maybe. He's not a vital piece of the Flyers roster, and it's possible he never will be with the kind of talent that surrounds him. He has the potential to do just that and the salary to match it, but he's not one to play above guys like Mike Richards and Claude Giroux.

But Versteeg doesn't need to. He's very much in the mold of Scott Hartnell on this Flyers team, in that he's here to be consistent scoring depth, while providing a nice dose of strong defensive play as well. 

The truth is, we can't really analyze Versteeg's time with the Flyers with any degree of accuracy given the news of his injury. Versteeg was suffering from an abdominal injury, and it's possible that he suffered that during his time with the Maple Leafs. It's also possible that he suffered it in Game 4 against Boston, we just don't know. We won't know.

I know that during the postseason he didn't seem very physical, but neither did the rest of the team. He routinely lost puck battles and was frankly rather invisible. Unfortunately, we don't know how much was the injury and how much was just poor play.

He played most of his time with Mike Richards, and given No. 18's own injury, the high expectations given the high trade price spent to acquire Versteeg and the small bit of time he wore orange and black this season, it's tough to get an accurate grade.

At the end of the day, what did Versteeg contribute during his time with the Flyers this season? Injury or not, he was far below the expectations we had for him at the time of his trade. We definitely have to take the injury into account, but we can't put too much weight on it because we don't know how long it was an issue. And he didn't play all that well this year before the trade, either.

Grading criteria: We assign grades on a 1 to 10 scale, with 10 being the best. We base our grades on expectations, execution on those expectations and a player's overall potential. A 10 means that the player had a fantastic, expectation-surpassing season. A 1 means that he was horrible and needs to go. Like, yesterday. 

The grade: We're giving Versteeg a 3. The expectations were lofty for him when he arrived in Philadelphia in March, and while the entire team did indeed play horribly during his time as a Flyer, he was a big part of that. It's not a complete indictment of Versteeg given the injury and personally, I'm excited to see what he can do healthy and refreshed with a full season in town.

But for now, he's underwhelming and unpleasant to think about. At a $3 million price tag plus two vital draft picks, a player can't be underwhelming and get a good grade. 

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