Williams is a VERY competent player with one year left on his deal. I really can't believe I'm hearing about buying him out. The Kings may or may not resign him next season, but he is currently at least a great second line winger. The Kings are not pressed up against the cap this offseason and his hit comes off the books before next year, when Doughty, Johnson, Simmonds, Moller, etc's contracts would kick in. To be honest, if the Kings hope to be in the playoffs next year, we better hope he is healthy and clicks with Smyth and Kopitar again.
I present to you, the impressive injury list of Mr. Glass:
2010/03/12 Missed 28 games (broken right leg).
2009/12/27 Broken right leg, sidelined indefinitely.
2009/11/02 Missed 5 games (lower body injury).
2009/10/24 Lower body injury, day-to-day.
2009/10/22 Lower body injury, day-to-day. 2009/03/20 Missed 15 games (broken hand).
2009/02/16 Broken hand, sidelined indefinitely. 2008/12/04 Missed 25 games (achilles tendon).
2008/09/17 Achilles' tendon, sidelined indefinitely.
2008/04/05 Missed the last 2 games of the regular season (back injury).
2008/04/02 Back injury, day-to-day. 2008/04/01 Missed 43 games (torn ACL).
2007/12/21 Torn ACL, remainder of the regular season.
2005/10/04 Shoulder injury, day-to-day.
2004/03/27 Missed 1 game (bruised ankle).
2004/03/25 Bruised ankle, day-to-day.
2004/02/21 Missed 3 games (broken left wrist).
2004/02/13 Broken left wrist, sidelined indefinitely. 2003/04/06 Missed 36 games (sprained left knee).
2003/04/04 Sprained left knee, day-to-day.
2003/01/20 Sprained left knee, remainder of the regular season.
2003/01/18 Sprained left knee, left Saturday's game.
2002/11/27 Missed 5 games (strained left shoulder).
2002/11/15 Strained left shoulder, early December.
2001/12/16 Missed 3 games (sprained right shoulder).
2001/12/10 Sprained right shoulder, day-to-day. 2001/03/19 Missed 12 games (broken finger).
2001/02/22 Broken finger, late March.
If you look at that list, aside from the bumps and bruises that all players of his gutsy nature go thru, there are only 5 significant injuries over that near 10 year span.
The broken fingers and ankles haven't been reoccurring injuries.
The knee sprain, achilles tear and broken leg were all single event, flukey injuries as well.
The guy plays balls to the wall - he suffers for that style, but this isn't a case of a guy who has a series of chronic, lingering knee, back or shoulder injuries.
I can't see Kovalchuk signing to not play with Kopitar and to sit on the second line playing with Handzus. He needs Kopitar to feed him the puck. As good as he is, he won't score 50 goals playing with Handzus.
Kings are the kind of team that need to have many twenty-goal scorers. They need everyone to pitch in, not ride the tails of a 50-goal scorer.
That doesnt follow. If We need to have many 20 goal scores then we should be adding two 20 goal scorers. Using your logic i don't see how adding one 35 goal scorer is better than adding one 50 goal scorer. Kovalchuk doesn't make brown, smyth , stoll, Williams, simmonds and kopi score less.
........sometimes I feel like the designation of 1st or 2nd line to be quite overrated. The Devils arguably had Kovalchuk on the "2nd" line with Elias and Zubrus and has Parise/Zajac/Langenbrunner as the "1st" line for most of the season. Both lines got similar amounts of ice time at even strength. Kovalchuk then got more time since he played most of the two minutes of each PP while taking extra long shifts at even strength.
Honestly after watching Kovalchuk closely for 35 games, putting him with a guy like Handzus might be a bit better than assuming he'd work well with Kopitar. Kovalchuk can be a bit of a 1 man show out there which really minimized Elias' effectiveness. But if you put him with a defensively responsible center who crashes the net might work.