Versteeg inks 4-year deal with Panthers

The Florida Panthers signed restricted free agent right wing Kris Versteeg to a four-year contract on Monday, avoiding an impending arbitration hearing.

"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 general manager 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 Fleischmann. We look forward to his continued offensive production, as well as his off-ice contributions in the South Florida community."

The 26-year-old Versteeg registered 23 goals and 54 points in 71 games last season, his first with the Panthers following a trade from Philadelphia.

For his career, the Alberta native has totaled 88 goals and 113 assists in 321 career games with Chicago, Toronto, Philadelphia and Florida. He helped the Blackhawks win a Stanley Cup in 2010.