The Capitals may have gotten a bargain in free agency on Wednesday night, as they announced the signing of three-time Stanley Cup champ Justin Williams to a two-year, $6.5 million contract. While Williams may have spurned the Los Angeles Kings to come to the District for less, he also had a reason, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun: “@Real_ESPNLeBrun: A good fit and a chance to play on another contender trumped more money for Justin Williams”.
That’s a good sign that the Capitals are viewed by outside players as a team with the ability to win a Stanley Cup very soon. While RFAs Braden Holtby, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Marcus Johansson have yet to sign new deals, Williams is a true winner that came relatively cheap. With the addition of the veteran right winger, the Caps added a former Stanley Cup winner who knows exactly what it takes for Caps to get the chance to hoist Lord Stanley’s prized chalice above their heads. He joins Troy Brouwer as the only Cup-winning players on the team.
Williams is coming off a somewhat disappointing season compared to ones past; tallying 41 points (18 G, 23 A) in 81 points. But while his production in the regular season is good, his playoff record is even more impressive. In seven career Game 7 playoff games, Williams is undefeated. The Capitals have been victorious in four elimination games in FRANCHISE HISTORY. Since Alex Ovechkin was drafted, the Caps have struggled in Game 7s for the most part.
Signing Williams was an excellent move by GM Brian MacLellan; one that could pay huge dividends come springtime. If Williams can find his scoring touch that earned him the Conn Smythe in 2014, the Caps could deliver the Stanley Cup to their fans for the first time in 41 years.