Monday, February 14, 2011
Posted: 9 p.m.
By Tim Panaccio
TAMPA Peter Laviolette likes what he sees in Kris Versteeg.
We got a look at him last year in the Finals and in Toronto this year, the Flyers coach said. Hes a highly-skilled player who will complement the players we already have up front.
The Flyers acquired Versteeg from Toronto on Monday for a first- and third-round pick in this summers upcoming draft.
Versteeg might look real good on Mike Richards line with James van Riemsdyk, eh? Versteeg is expected to dress against Tampa Bay on Tuesday.
It could be well get to that point maybe where we get comfortable with some lines, Laviolette said. Things have bounced around a little bit. Theres a chance we could try that.
Laviolette likes Versteegs tenacity and his versatility.
He can kill penalties, he can play on the power play, play with your top line or checking line, Laviolette said. Hes done a little bit of everything. Were not really comprised of a first line. Were built by numbers. I really think he can come in and provide more depth.
Whether he plays with Claude Giroux or plays with Richards', Im not sure we wont do anything with Brieres line. Its more hes an addition to that skill up front.
Laviolette was happy that general manager Paul Holmgren didnt trade any player from his current mix, which he believes is a very tight-knit group right now.
The Flyers strengthened their core for a run at the Stanley Cup without losing a player.
You add someone who is 24 to the mix, the Girouxs, the Jeff Carters, the JVRs, the young core we have going right now, Laviolette said. Hes ready to play and help out. He was a good player for them last year in the playoffs.
He contributed in a lot of different ways. He was competitive. He was tenacious. He did a lot of things for them.
Laviolette said he and Holmgren felt Versteeg reminded him of former Flyer Justin Williams, who now plays in Los Angeles.
He can play in a lot of different situations and is aggressive on the puck all the time, Laviolette said of Williams.
Laviolette credited Holmgren for being aggressive in going after Versteeg, much like he was in pursuing Chris Pronger and going after Kimmo Timonen and Scott Hartnell in years past.
When Holmgren identifies his man, he goes after him.
I think thats a vision that he has on what hes looking for from the team, Laviolette said. Hes always said he wants to be strong on the back end, and on defense, he goes out and makes a move for Pronger or a move for Kimmo, Braydon Coburn he made moves this summer.
When he knows he wants something, he does act on it. I think because of that, our team and our lineup is a strong lineup. This, again, is just another one of those instances where he felt Kris could really help our lineup. Hes watched him play, and we have a good young player who comes into the mix right now and can help us.
Related: Flyers acquire Versteeg from Toronto Buy Flyers gear
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