The people are loving it!
"Williams is an underachieving gripe and I’m disappointed no Siberian KHL team took him off our hands. I’m wishing Holland hadn’t made him that offer. “In Kenny We Trust” doesn’t work for me on this one."
"I'm also curious to see how long Williams makes it before he starts whining. I'm a much bigger fan of the Eaves deal."
"Nope. Don’t like it. Don’t like him inevitably playing on the point and I don’t like the way he bitched when he was benched the last time. Was never fond of Jason Williams, but my opinion definitely doesn’t count."
Depressing comment from a Thrashers fan at A2Y:
"All I know is that after watching him play in Atlanta last year for half a season he was one of the least inspiring players on the team. And once he was traded for a 6th round pick the team got better."
So what we've got here is a guy who posted 47 points last season (29 in 39 games for the Blue Jackets), can't be making anymore than a little over $1 million (terms have yet to be released), and won't be required to play on the top two lines ... but mentally is such a question mark that 95% of Wings fans out there are hating this deal? To be a 3rd liner with 50-point potential and negate that somehow is quite an accomplishment. Alas, this is the Jason Williams story.
My thought, at least initially, is to wait and see. It will be two and a half years since his last Red Wings game at the start of Opening Night. That's a long time in hockey years, and there's a possiblity for change.
We can never forget that Holland really, truly knows what he's doing. I would highly doubt that he'd make a commitment to Williams without discussing the terms on which he left in 2007, and what needs to be done differently this time before signing on the dotted line. Ken's an intelligent guy -- he's not going to make a half assed signing just because he's running out of options. He's going to make the most of those options by exploring them to the fullest. And the fact that he's risking giving Williams another shot after he butted heads with Babcock has to mean something.
Plus -- clubhouse chemistry issues aside -- the addition of a "depth" scorer isn't a bad thing. The Wings lost a boatload of depth scoring this offseason with Hudler and Samuelsson, so there aren't as many forwards whom you'd consider locks for good-to-great point production. Now Williams and the word "lock" don't really mesh, but it's a decent bet given his career totals. Since we're relying on Filppula to take the next step (not a guarantee) and Leino to fill a huge void for a full season (really not a guarantee), I can't hate the Jason Williams deal.