Since the Capitals re-signed top-line right wing T.J. Oshie to an eight-year contract, fellow right wing Justin Williams’ future has been one of the many topics of discussions. It seems all but inevitable that Williams will be looking for a new home come July 1.
According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, Williams has narrowed his list of teams to 3-4 teams and the Capitals no longer appear to be an option for the three-time Stanley Cup champion. Signed by the Caps two years ago as part of their effort to win a championship, the Caps failed to advance past the second round of the playoffs in both of Williams’ two seasons with the team.
While his departure seemed likely after General Manager Brian MacLellan told the Washington Post’s Isablle Khurshudyan that the Caps were likely done negotiating with their multiple unrestricted free agents, it is still a sad day. Williams quickly became a fan favorite due to his no-nonsense playing style and commitment to the team. In 162 games played in a Capitals sweater, Williams scored 46 goals and added 54 assists for 100 points, while finishing with a plus/minus rating of plus-29 and added 16 points (six goals, 10 assists) in 25 playoff games.
At 35-years old, Williams is closer to the end of his career and with the Capitals prepared to give their young forward prospects an opportunity to make the opening night roster, it was unlikely he was going to return unless he was willing to take a significant pay cut.
By Michael Fleetwood