August 6, 2009

Samuelsson replaced by equally turnover-at-the-blueline-prone Jason Williams

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.


J.J. from Kansas said...

Maybe it was a mercy signing. The way I figure, we'll all be too busy bitching about Williams to notice any growing pains that Leino might be going through in the big league.

RT said...

Am I the only wings fan thats happy about this?

By the way, i fucking called it.

Tyler said...

That you did, sir. And Kyle agrees with your sentiment with a terrific post here.

Tyler said...

... or here:

Animal Drew said...

I'm going to reserve judgement...nah screw that, I think he scores 20+ this year just to spite everyone that is un-happy about this signing. Then we want him to stay and he leaves after we win the cup for more money. There I said it.

Guilherme Calciolari said...

1 and a half million is TOO much.

And I guess Eaves will be a 4th liner, so no "Revoltion Line" with Cleary, Helm and "Larry"

Kyle said...

I like the mentality here. I pretty much sold out on the "it's a good signing" deal, but more than that I just wanted to establish that I'm giving him a second chance.

He's got issues, and I think even pro-Williams folk will say if he's on the powerplay, it damn well better be on he wing. But he's been productive here in the past, and, being August 6, we could have done a whole lot worse.

I won't be planning a parade around this move any time soon, but I'm comfortable with it.

J.J. from Kansas said...

Turnover-prone at the blue line > lying prone at the blue line.

Just ask Martin Havlat.

RT said...

I don't know about you guys but these last two free agent signings to fill out the depth chart have got me itchting to see this revamped lineup in action.

If anything, we're gonna clamp down on defense, on the PK, and in net (please ozzie) to make up for any lost offense from last season.

We're younger, we're hungrier, and we sure as hell better be fuckin pissed off. October, where are you?

cmk said...

With this signing, my mood is :-|

Baroque said...

At least if he's useless, he's short-term useless only. And not all THAT expensive, comparatively. Bah.


Well, it has been a few years. Maybe he has both fully recovered from his concussion and learned a little something in the interim. I'll try to give him a chance. :/

Chris said...

Did my comment get deleted? Shoot, I feel like Big Rich on KK...pathetic.