|Born||May 13, 1986 |
Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Weight||182 lb (83 kg; 13 st 0 lb)|
Toronto Maple Leafs
Los Angeles Kings
|NHL Draft||134th overall, 2004|
Originally selected 134th overall in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft by the Boston Bruins, Kris played with the club's minor league affiliate, the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League (AHL) for parts of two seasons before being traded to the Chicago Blackhawks.
Kris continued playing in the AHL with the Blackhawks' affiliates until making his NHL debut during the 2007–08 season.
The following campaign, he received a nomination for the Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL's best rookie.
In his second full season with the Blackhawks, he helped the club win the Stanley Cup in 2010. Following Chicago's Cup win, Kris played for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Philadelphia Flyers and Florida Panthers before being traded back to Chicago during the 2013–14 season, winning the Stanley Cup again in 2015.
Playing Career[edit | edit source]
Kris was drafted 134th overall in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft by the Boston Bruins after a four-year Western Hockey League (WHL) career (spanning from 2002–03 to 2005–06 spent with the Lethbridge Hurricanes, Kamloops Blazers and the Red Deer Rebels).
During his time with the Lethbridge Hurricanes, he played with future Chicago Blackhawks teammate Brent Seabrook for three seasons.
Kris made his professional debut, playing in the final 13 games of the 2005–06 season with Boston's American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Providence Bruins. He remained with Providence for the beginning of 2006–07.
On February 3, 2007, Kris was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks by with future considerations for Brandon Bochenski. As a result, he moved within the AHL to Chicago's minor league affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals.
Then, Kris played for the Rockford IceHogs in 2007–08 as Chicago switched its AHL affiliation. He made his NHL debut that season as he was called up for a total of 13 games, recording 2 goals and 2 assists.
Kris played his first full season with the Blackhawks in 2008–09. On January 1, 2009, he scored the opening goal of the 2009 Winter Classic held at Wrigley Field against the Detroit Red Wings.
Finishing the season with 22 goals and 53 points, second in rookie scoring to Bobby Ryan of the Anaheim Ducks, he was nominated for the Calder Memorial Trophy as rookie of the year along with Ryan and goaltender Steve Mason of the Columbus Blue Jackets for his efforts. Mason ended up winning the Calder.
Kris's entry-level contract expired after the 2008–09 season, which would typically have made him a restricted free agent (RFA), however, a clerical error in which the Blackhawks failed to tender qualifying offers to their pending RFAs by the league deadline led to speculation Kris and several of his teammates would become unrestricted free agents.
As a result, the NHL Players' Association (NHLPA) filed a grievance on the players' behalf. On July 8, 2009, Kris re-signed with the Blackhawks to a three-year contract, worth nearly US$9 million. His offensive production dropped in his second full NHL season, recording 20 goals and 44 points over 79 games.
In the 2010 playoffs, Kris added 14 points in 22 games, helping the Blackhawks to a Stanley Cup championship, defeating the Philadelphia Flyers in the Finals. His name was originally misspelled "Kris Vertseeg" when engraved on the Stanley Cup, but it was quickly corrected.
Due to salary cap restraints, the Blackhawks were forced to trade away several players in the off-season including Kris. On June 30, 2010, he was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs with Bill Sweatt for Viktor Stalberg, Chris Didomenico and Philippe Paradis.
He joined the team that he helped defeat in the previous season's Stanley Cup Finals and scored seven goals to go with four assists during the remainder of the regular season.
Kris scored one goal during the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs which came in the final game of Philadelphia's fourth game 5-1 loss to the Boston Bruins in the second round.
On July 1, 2011, he was traded to the Florida Panthers for Florida's second round choice (which was later traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning who selected Brian Hart) in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft and San Jose's third round choice (which was previously acquired & Philadelphia selected Shayne Gostisbehere) in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
The trade came just a few hours after the Flyers announced the signing of Jaromir Jagr.
Kris missed the majority of the 2012–13 NHL season due to a recurring chest injury & knee injury (sustained during a game against Tampa Bay on March 12, 2013) which resulted in surgery.
On November 14, 2013, he was traded back to the Chicago Blackhawks along with Philippe Lefebrve in exchange for Jimmy Hayes and Dylan Olsen. Since his sweater #32 (which he wore during his first stint with the Blackhawks) was being worn by Michal Rozsíval, Kris opted to wear #23 upon returning to the club.
On June 15, 2015, Kris won his second Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks in a 2-0 Game 6 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2015 Stanley Cup Finals.
On September 11, 2015, Kris was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes along with Joakim Nordstrom and a 3rd round pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft in order to make more cap space available for the Blackhawks to re-sign Marcus Kruger (who resigned with the team the next day).
In the following 2015–16 season, Kris transitioned to the Hurricanes quickly and was used on the club's top scoring lines throughout the year. He produced 33 points in 63 games until February 28, 2016 when he was familiarly traded at the trade deadline to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for Valentin Zykov and a conditional 5th round pick in 2016.
Acquired by the Kings for depth in their playoff run, the team would fail to make it deep, losing in the first round to the San Jose Sharks. In his stint with the Kings, Kris scored 5 points in 14 games while adding two more in the team's five playoff appearances.
On July 25, 2016, as a free agent from the Kings, Kris opted to pause his NHL career in agreeing to sign a one-year deal with the SC Bern of the Swiss NLA, but he failed to pass the medical exam in early September and therefore, the contract was voided.
On September 9, 2016, he returned to continue his career in the NHL in agreeing to join the Edmonton Oilers at their training camp on a Professional Try Out (PTO).
After a successful training camp with the Oilers, on October 11, 2016, Kris rejected a contract offer from the Oilers, opting to instead join provincial rivals the Calgary Flames on a one-year deal.
Career Statistics[edit | edit source]
Regular season and playoffs[edit | edit source]
|2005–06||Red Deer Rebels||WHL||57||10||26||36||103||—||—||—||—||—|
|2010–11||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||53||14||21||35||29||—||—||—||—||—|
|2015–16||Los Angeles Kings||NHL||14||4||1||5||6||5||1||1||2||0|
International[edit | edit source]
Personal Life[edit | edit source]
Kris's younger brother Mitch is a defenceman for the Nikko Ice Bucks of the Asia League Ice Hockey (ALH) in Japan.
He has developed a reputation within the NHL for his habit of singing in public as evidenced by his recitation of a portion of Fergie's "Glamorous" on "Mouthpiece Sports" as well as performing an altered version of LMFAO's "Yes" during the Chicago Blackhawks' victory parade.
Kris also sang Kanye West's verse of the song "American Boy" featuring Estelle in a video clip on Blackhawks TV during his time with the Hawks. He continued this tradition during the Chicago Blackhawks 2015 Championship Rally by singing Macklemore's "And We Danced" along with teammate Joakim Nordstrom.
He has a tattoo on his upper right arm that reads "06 • 09 • 10 " in commemoration of the date he won the Stanley Cup as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks.
On June 2, 2015, Kris and his wife Brittany welcomed their first child, a son named Jaxson James.