Wednesday, January 14, 2009


The Thrashers traded forward Jason Williams to Columbus today in exchange for defenseman Clay Wilson and a 6th round pick in this year's entry draft.

The skinny on Wilson: Played four seasons of college hockey at Michigan Tech and is listed as 6-0, 195 lbs. He had one assist in five games with Columbus this season while tallying 20 points in 33 games with the Blue Jackets' AHL affiliate in Syracuse. He is 25 years old.

My take: Addition by subtraction.

Williams, who was signed this past summer as a free agent from Chicago, was a complete bust. He struggled on the wing because of his foot speed and wasn't effective at center due to his unwillingness to "get dirty" in front of the net. And with the addition of waiver pick-up Rich Peverly, he was certainly expendable.

Williams made $2.2 million with the Thrashers and is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in July.

Bottom Line: Not a bad deal made by GM Don Waddell. He picks up a depth defenseman in Wilson who will likely be assigned to Chicago, plus a late round draft pick.

That's how I see it. Thoughts?

1 comment:

Lisa aka HockeyWench said...

I completely disagree with you on your take of Williams. JW played point with Chicago & Detroit on the PP & PK and was very effective in those areas for both teams.

Here in Atlanta those positions are already occupied by Kovalchuk so that takes away from his area of skill holding him back from the main area he is effective in.

I also saw play after play where he would be in position passing the puck and the wing man would not be there to finish the play the wing man would be way out of position.

Williams is also more accustomed to lines being more vocal on the ice allowing each player to know where the other is. That does not happen with our team alot. I can say that the non-vocalization is 100% correct from sitting down at ice level. The most vocal player we have on our team is Johan Hedberg. He sits on the bench and calls to the players to let them know who is where and what may be coming up.

Given those facts Williams was not given a chance to shine in the areas he is skilled in. Saying he was a bust is a harsh misjudgement.

After watching him in the past two games with Columbus, I think he is in a position now where he can be more effective for a team.

I look beyond stats, I watch how the player moves & how they handle the puck & how they develop plays to the point that I can tell at times when certain players are going to attempt major plays by the way they drop a shoulder a certain way or turn their body in a certain way or even a hop and twist of a right ankle while they are in posession of the puck or fixing to lay down a major hit even a certain look in their eye when they are fixing to throw the gloves.

No offense to you Matt or to any other broadcaster but honestly you cannot see those things from the press box.