The building where Kris Versteeg hoisted the Stanley Cup on June 9 is now his home.
Tonight, against the Phoenix Coyotes, Versteeg will make his Wells Fargo Center debut with the Flyers after his trade from Toronto last week. Versteeg has collected 1 goal and 1 assist in his first 4 games with the Flyers – all of which came on the road.
To read about why Ville Leino was the key to the Flyers landing Versteeg, and how he put aside financial gain to help the team win, click here.
“I’m really excited,” Versteeg said. “I’ve said it before, this is a really intimidating building to come in and play. Now that I’m on the right side, I’m excited about it.”
Versteeg saw his first power play action, 55 seconds worth, during the Flyers win over the Rangers on Sunday. Coach Peter Laviolette said he is starting to notice Versteeg settle in – and he’d like to get him some more time on the other side of the special teams puck, especially with top penalty killer Blair Betts (lacerated finger) out again tonight.
“He’s tenacious and quick,” Laviolette said. “When you’re just bringing one guy into the equation, instead of changing the system for the whole team, you will start to see him get more comfortable as time goes on and he knows what he needs to do. He can just react.”
And while Laviolette said he has “tried to wash that memory away,” of Versteeg winning the Stanley Cup last season, Laviolette is happy to have another play with a ring in the fold.
“I think any time you can add that depth to your locker room, it’s a good thing,” Laviolette said. “I’m excited. We didn’t need him to come in here and move mountains, we wanted him to come in here and be a nice complement.”
Our friend Mike Zeisberger, of the Toronto Sun, wondered today whether Toronto pulled the plug on Versteeg too soon.
BOB IN NET: Sergei Bobrovsky will start for the Flyers tonight against Phoenix, who enters having won 7 straight.
ZHERDEV SCRATCHED: According to the Flyers’ morning skate on Tuesday, forward Nik Zherdev will be scratched for the sixth consecutive game. We discussed Zherdev’s future a little bit in today’s column.
MISSING: Kimmo Timonen, Chris Pronger, James van Riemsdyk, Scott Hartnell, Jeff Carter, Danny Briere, Dan Carcillo and Claude Giroux all missed Tuesday morning’s optional skate.
For the latest updates, follow Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @DNFlyers
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