Blackhawks agree to three-year deal with Versteeg Staff

7/8/2009 11:04:40 AM

The Chicago Blackhawks have put a good part of their restricted free-agent woes behind them, as the club agreed to a three-year contract worth more than $9 million with forward Kris Versteeg.

"Kris' tremendous rookie season was a big reason the team was able to go as far as it did," Blackhawks General Manager Dale Tallon said in a statement. "He is part of a core of young players that is going to make this franchise successful for a long time."

The contract is similar to the one signed by defenceman Cam Barker on Monday.

A Calder trophy finalist this past season, Versteeg remained the lone unsigned restricted free agent of a group of five from the Blackhawks whose qualifying offers reportedly got lost in the mail. 

The 23-year old Lethbridge, Alberta native scored 22 goals and 31 assists in 78 games for the Hawks last season while adding four goals and eight assists during Chicago's run to the Western Conference final.