Predictably, when NHL general managers gathered in Toronto last week for their semi-annual meeting to discuss rule changes, there was the usual amount of face-to-face trade talk as well. It resulted in a couple of minor deals – the Toronto Maple Leafs getting additional depth at forward by acquiring Peter Holland from the Anaheim Ducks and the Chicago Blackhawks fleshing out the bottom half of their roster by re-acquiring Kris Versteeg from the Florida Panthers.

Versteeg was a victim of the first Blackhawks’ salary dump after they won the 2010 Stanley Cup. He just never fit in wherever he landed – not in Toronto, not with the Philadelphia Flyers and not with the Panthers, where you figured it might work, just because he was working for ex-Blackhawks’ general manager Dale Tallon again.

Some of Versteeg’s issues may have related to a slow recovery from knee surgery last March to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament. For a player whose game revolves around speed, it is a particularly difficult injury to get back from. Players can be medically cleared to return to the lineup, but that is not the same thing as getting physically up to speed again with the pace of the game.

Moreover, Versteeg – while showing flashes of scoring ability – likely isn’t an ideal top-six forward, even though at $4.4-million per season, he is being paid like one. It’s why the Blackhawks were able to get the Panthers to eat half his salary. At $2.2-million, Chicago general manager Stan Bowman can justify playing Versteeg on his third line, where he can kill some penalties, score some even-strength goals and provide the sort of depth that they lost when Michal Frolik was let go from last year’s championship team.