Detroit Red Wings Offer Former Wing Jason Williams One-Year Deal
Williams, a London, Ontario native, was signed by the Red Wings as a 20-year-old undrafted free agent in 2000 after scoring 147 points in 134 games during his last two years for the Peterborough Petes of the OHL.
His success continued at the pro level and he scored 164 points in 173 games over three seasons for the Red Wings' AHL affiliates. During that same stretch he also saw time in the NHL, playing in 46 games and recording 17 points for the Red Wings.
He finally cracked the Red Wings roster full time for the 2003-2004 season However, Williams, then 23, disappointed, playing 49 games and recording just 13 points.
After a point per game season in SM—Liiga during the lockout, Jason Williams returned to the Red Wings and new coach Mike Babcock in 2005. Williams, often paired on a line with Steve Yzerman and Robert Lang, had a breakout year. In 80 games, Williams recorded what are still career highs in goals (21), assists (37), and points (58).
Following a slow start to the 2006-2007 season Williams was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks for Kyle Calder. Williams put up just six points in the final 20 games that season and finished with a disappointing total of 32.
He played well during his only full season in Chicago, scoring 36 points in 43 games in 2007-2008 but became a free agent at the end of the year. He signed a one year deal with Atlanta in the off season.
With the Thrashers, Williams continued to struggle and midway through the season he was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets. He finished strong for the Jackets, posting 29 points in the seasons final 39 games.
Williams has demonstrated over his career that he is an inconsistent scorer. However, if he plays to his full potential and puts up numbers like he did for the Wings in 2005—2006, the 28-year-old winger could turn out to be exactly what the Wings need.
While financial terms of the deal are currently unknown, it is likely to be pretty low. Red Wings general manager Ken Holland has stated that he planned on trading one of the Red Wings' eight defensemen before the season begins (likely Brett Lebda or Derek Meech) in order to free up enough space to sign two forwards.
While the idea of signing Jason Williams has been tossed around for a while, Wings fans have mixed feelings. As for me, I'll save my opinion until the signing actually occurs.
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