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July 23, 2012 | 10:05am ET
Versteeg signs 4-year deal

The Florida Panthers have avoided arbitration with Kris Versteeg, signing the right wing to a four-year contract worth $4.4 million per season.

Versteeg, 26, recorded career bests in goals (23) and points (54) while playing in 71 games for the Panthers last season.

"Kris played an important role in our club's success last season and we are pleased to have reached a long-term contract agreement with him," said Panthers GM Dale Tallon. "He is a skilled player who recorded career highs in goals and points last season, while playing on our top line alongside Stephen Weiss and Tomas Fleischman. We look forward to his continued offensive production, as well as his off-ice contributions in the South Florida community."

For his career in the NHL, the Lethbridge, Alta, native has scored 88 goals with 201 points in 321 career games with Chicago (2007-2010), Toronto (2010-2011), Philadelphia (2010-2011) and Florida (2011-2012). In 57 post season games, he has recorded 14 goals and 37 points, while winning the Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 2010.

Versteeg was acquired from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for a conditional second round draft pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, as well as a third round selection in the 2012 NHL Draft.

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