Veteran winger Justin Williams, an unrestricted free agent, signed a two-year, $6.5 million deal with the Capitals on Wednesday night.
Even as he enters his mid-30s Wiliams has been an extremely durable player (after having a awful run of injury luck earlier in his career that ultimately resulted in the Carolina Hurricanes trading him to the Kings during the 2008-09 season) and has missed just one regular season game over the past four seasons. The right winger finds a new home after spending the last seven seasons with the Los Angeles Kings.
Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan has said frequently that a top-six right wing was atop the team’s free agency wish list, though he believed that the most suitable option would likely be obtained through the trade market because of the salary cap situation. “We felt it was important for our team to add someone of his caliber, as a hockey player and as a veteran leader”.
Williams, 33, totaled 18 goals and 41 points in 81 games with Los Angeles this past season. Williams was also awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2014 after scoring nine goals and finishing with 25 points in the Kings 26 Stanley Cup Playoff games.
Known for his postseason success, Williams has tallied a record 14 points in his seven appearances in Game 7 of a playoff series.
If he plays in all 82 games this season he will play in his 1,000th career regular season. Williams’ teams are also ideal when playing in Game 7s (7-0). The Cobourg, Ont., native has represented Canada at the World Championship three times (2002, 2004, 2007) and captured a gold medal in 2004 and 2007.