Williams also healthy, ready to go
Given the serious nature of his leg injury, Anze Kopitar’s summer recovery has obviously been a major topic of discussion, but Kopitar wasn’t the only recovering King. Justin Williams underwent offseason surgery to repair a dislocated shoulder. Williams returned late in the season, wearing a highly restrictive shoulder harness, but had the surgery done once the Kings were eliminated from the playoffs and is expected to be 100 percent for the start of training camp next weekend.
WILLIAMS: “The shoulder feels great. I was able to get it out of the way quicker than actually I wanted. I wanted to be able to play a few (playoff) rounds before I got it fixed, but we lost in the first round and I got it done two weeks after that. It’s been four months now, so there’s no issue at all.”
Question: When you tried to come back and play at the end of last season, how bad was it?
WILLIAMS: “It wasn’t great. [laughs] Sometimes you play through it. Everyone is injured at that time of the season. It seemed that my injury was just more publicly broadcast than all the other ones. It was fine. It’s something that I had to deal with, and I did.”
Question: After Simon Gagne signed, he credited you as a guy who helped recruit him to come to the Kings…
WILLIAMS: “I put my recruiting hat on, yeah. I heard we were somewhat interested, and I called him and asked him about it. He said yes. That day, for those guys, is pretty whirlwind, the first few days of free agency. You’re probably getting a lot of phone calls and stuff, but I think the familiarity with myself and Gagne, playing my first four years in Philadelphia with him and kind of growing up together, probably helped him along. Now we both have two kids. We’re older. We’re two of the older forwards on the team, whereas before we were youngsters when we broke in. It’s good to see him here.”
Question: Looking at the roster, you’ve played quite a bit with Kopitar but you also have the history with Gagne. Any thoughts on which line you might fit on?
WILLIAMS: “Interchangeable parts are pretty good up front. It’s exciting to know that no teams are going to be abel to key on one line. When you can have that balanced scoring that we anticipate having here, not only from the top two lines but certainly our bottom two as well, you’re going to have a good time. You’re going to be a thorn in the opponents’ sides most nights.”