When Justin Williams was acquired by the Los Angeles Kings at the 2009 Trade Deadline, I was initially upset that Dean Lombardi traded such a promising talent in Patrick O’Sullivan away. Of course, knowing that Williams not only had better numbers than O’Sullivan but had already won a Stanley Cup (with Carolina in 2006) it made the news of the trade a little easier. In short time, the trade proved to make Lombardi look like, for lack of a better term, a genius. While O’Sullivan has bounced around with a few teams since, Williams is a mainstay in Los Angeles not to mention a very significant reason why they can call themselves champions.
In terms of point totals and longevity, Justin Williams’ third full season with the Kings has been his best one. 2011-12 saw the 30-year-old scored 22 times and add 37 assists for 59 points to go along with a +10 rating. Williams also tied for the team-lead with nine power play goals and led the way with 241 shots.
What was great about Williams this past season was the fact that he played in all 82 regular season games, which was big news considering he missed time with a separated shoulder last season and 33 games in 2009-10 with a broken leg. While Williams can produce, it’s his veteran presence alone that has the ability to set his team apart from the rest of the pack.
In the playoffs, Williams was just as effective as he contributed with 15 points (4 goals, 11 assists) is 20 games, while adding a +8 rating to go along with 58 shots (second on the club to Dustin Brown with 59 shots).
To me, Justin Williams has always had a quiet way of doing things on the ice and this past season was no exception. When the playoffs got under way, the Los Angeles Kings elevated their game and, in doing so, made it a full team effort. Justin Williams was no exception to that. While, like many members of the Kings family, he was once part of the Philadelphia Flyers organization, Williams has been deep in the playoffs before with his aforementioned Cup win in 2006. That was one of the top reasons why he was acquired in 2009 and as we all saw last month, it paid off.
Now a two-time Stanley Cup winner, Justin Williams will be entering his fourth full season with the Kings this coming fall and we all look forward to seeing him when the team raises their first-ever Stanley Cup banner, knowing just how important he was to that milestone.
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