Panthers

Panthers, Versteeg Agree To 4-Year Deal

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Kris Versteeg #32 of the Florida Panthers reacts against the New Jersey Devils in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Prudential Center on April 24, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Kris Versteeg #32 of the Florida Panthers reacts against the New Jersey Devils in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Prudential Center on April 24, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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Florida Panthers

SUNRISE (AP) — The  Florida Panthers and right wing Kris Versteeg have agreed to a four-year contract.

The deal that was one of the top offseason priorities for the reigning Southeast Division champions and eliminated the need for a scheduled Monday arbitration hearing.

Versteeg had career bests with 23 goals and 54 points last season, along with three goals and two assists in Florida’s first-round series against New Jersey. He also had his first hat trick last season and scored 25 points in his first 20 games with the Panthers.

Versteeg has 88 goals and 201 points in 321 career NHL games with Chicago, Toronto, Philadelphia and Florida. He also was part of Chicago’s Stanley Cup-winning team in 2010.

Versteeg played o Florida’s top line last season, alongside Stephen Weiss and Tomas Fleischmann.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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