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YYZ Bound: Kris Versteeg Traded To Maple Leafs

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On the eve of free agency, the Chicago Blackhawks have shed some more salary. Forward Kris Versteeg is on his way to Toronto along with prospect Bill Sweatt. Heading to Chicago are forward Viktor Stalberg, Chris DiDomenico and Philippe Paradis.

Our Leafs blog, Pension Plan Puppets, has reaction:

Brian Burke has added a top six forward. Versteeg is a 20 goal guy who will look good wearing the blue and white. I know a lot of people here like Viktor Stalberg but Stalberg is actually older than Versteeg. I'll be sad to see Chris DiDomenico leave but there's a fair chance with his femur injury he'll never skate fast enough to dominate in the NHL. Phillippe Paradis is a garbage prospect.

Best of luck to the three players leaving Toronto tonight but remember the adage we all learned when we got Gilmour: you win the trade when you get the best player. We got the best player.

As does our Blackhawks blog, Second City Hockey:

Anyway, tonight, Kris Versteeg was the latest (and perhaps last) cap casualty from our Stanley Cup Champions. He was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs (man, they love them so overpaid wingers, don't they?) along with Bill Sweatt (cue McClure tears) for Viktor Stalberg, Phillip Paradis, and Chris DiDomenco.

The latter two are prospects, and DIdomenico actually has some upside. Problem is, that upside is coming off snapping his femur like a twin the QMJHL, so we'll see how he bounces back from that. Paradis is apparently not going to be much, but then the Hawks didn't think Sweatt was going to be much either. So there.

The prize is obviously Stalberg, and the kid does have some promise. He's a big boy, and the Hawks could use some size. He scored 9 goals in 40 games with T.O., and that's a team that has zero creative people to get him the puck. One could conceivable see him pot 20 this year, considering.

More at both sites. Also be sure to check SB Nation Chicago.