If nothing more, the loss of Justin Williams will cost the LA Kings performance insurance in the playoffs.
Since the LA Kings won their second championship in three years in 2014, the road has been anything but easy and they’ve brought a new definition of thin ice into the picture of professional sports.
Recently Jarrett Stoll and Slava Voynov both participated in activities off the ice that will put them behind bars — Stoll for drug use and Voynov for domestic violence.
Stoll played a big role for the Kings in 2012, where the franchise won their first-ever title as an eight seed, beating the New Jersey Devils in six games in the Final.
He was able to get the Kings rolling against the Vancouver Canucks and Phoenix (now Arizona) Coyotes, and without his help on both ends of the rink there’s a good chance that the Kings might not be as respected or hated as they are today.
Voynov’s play in LA was more of the grey-area kind of play.
Some nights he’d be absolutely spectacular but other nights he just wasn’t feeling it.
That wasn’t the case with Justin Williams.
While it’s more than evident that Williams’ best games came in the do-or-die scenario that we all love in a Game 7, he was the kind of guy that kept a depraved locker room hungry when they went down 0-3 to the San Jose Sharks en route to title number two.
And you can draft or buy that — it’s a leadership skill that just comes naturally.
Instead of lacing up for the boys in black and white, the NHL will see Justin Williams take his talents to our nation’s capitol in an effort to play with the Washington Capitals.
Washington, as all hockey followers know, had a 3-1 series choke hold on the New York Rangers in the second round before squandering it all away, finishing themselves off with a disaster of a Game 7.
So I guess you could say it looks like they’ve found the right guy in Williams.
In his 14 years in professional hockey, Williams has 227 goals and over 350 assists to his name. This, of course, made him an ideal target for any NHL team.
And because he brings all of those things to the table immediately, the Washington Capitals got a serious steal.
But what about the Kings?
Los Angeles has been looking to try and make a new name for themselves, and it will be interesting to see how this usually resilient squad comes back and if they come back with a vengeance.
Successful vengeance, to say the least.
Martin Jones, Jonathan Quick’s former backup who did a lot of incredible work with the Kings, will be on California rival San Jose’s line up from here on out and when Jones and Quick play each other we can expect nothing short of a masterpiece.
The biggest thing for the Kings moving forward to keep their momentum is their overall team spirit.
Losing Justin Williams hurts, but being overly focused on one guy isn’t healthy either.