KINGS ACQUIRE WILLIAMS
"It's a deal we have been working on pretty extensively over the last couple of days, obviously as you saw, it ended up being a three-way [deal]," Lombardi said. "We have to give up a good player in Sully, but it was one of the things we were looking at to improve our team. Justin WIlliams is only 27-years-old, so he can grow with this group, he has won a Stanley Cup, he gives us size on the wings and he is a proven 30-goal scorer and we just felt that this is a guy that can fit with our mix as we build this and we just felt it was a good deal for us."
Highlights | Lombardi on the Trade | Head Coach Terry Murray on the Trade
In acquiring Williams, the Kings have traded forward Patrick O’Sullivan to Edmonton and one of the club’s two second-round draft selections in the upcoming 2009 NHL Entry Draft to Carolina (the Kings had two selections in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft – the selection going to Carolina was originally Calgary’s selection which the Kings acquired in 2007 as part of a trade that sent Craig Conroy to the Flames). As part of the trade, Carolina has acquired forward Erik Cole and a fifth-round selection in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft from Edmonton, and the Oilers are receiving a second-round pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft from the Hurricanes.
“Erik was an important player for our team for a long time, and will be an integral part of our push for the playoffs,” said Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the Carolina Hurricanes about the trade. “We thank Justin for all he has done for us. It is difficult to part ways with Justin because of what he has meant to our organization. The last few years have been tough on him and our team with his injuries, and we wish him all the best in Los Angeles.”
Williams, 27, has played in 32 games with the Hurricanes this season and has 10 points (3-7=10) and nine penalty minutes. The 6-1, 195-pounder from Cobourg, Ontario, is currently on the injured reserve list due to a hand injury. He suffered a broken hand during the Carolina-Buffalo game on Feb. 15.
Williams, a member of Carolina’s Stanley Cup winning team in 2006 and an All-Star in 2007 when he scored a career-high 33 goals, has played in 491 career NHL games with the Hurricanes and the Philadelphia Flyers, the team that selected him in the first-round (28th overall) of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft. In those 491 career NHL regular season games, he has recorded 316 points (124-192=316) and 325 penalty minutes, while in 42 playoff games he has 24 points (8-16=24) and 46 penalty minutes. He has also represented Canada at three World Championship tournaments.
Williams’ two finest NHL seasons came in 2005-06 and 2006-07. In ’05-06, he played in all 82 games and had a career-best 76 points (31-45=76). The next season, he also played in all 82 games and had 67 points (33-34=67). He signed a five-year contract with the Hurricanes prior to the 2006-07 season.
O’Sullivan, 24, played in 62 games with the Kings this season and had 37 points (14-23=37) and 16 penalty minutes. Acquired by the Kings from Minnesota in 2006, O’Sullivan recorded 109 points (41-68=109) and 66 career penalty minutes with the team in 188 games.