OK, here are Dean Lombardi’s comments on Justin Williams. There’s a second part to this, in which Lombardi talks about letting go of O’Sullivan, and why he did it now. I’ll try to get that stuff posted a bit later.
Question: Was this trade more about getting Williams or getting rid of O’Sullivan?
LOMBARDI: “It was about getting the guy. He’s a proven 30-goal scorer and only 27 years old. He is arguably just entering his prime. He’s really competitive. We know him intimately from Philadelphia. We didn’t want to trade him when we were there, but he was part of the Markov deal. He’s a really smart player. Those are the two things that jump out at you, right from his draft year through on. He’s really smart and really competitive. Then, like I said, the numbers speak for themselves.
“The difference, too, when you look at this guy and his numbers, when he’s healthy, is that he did it on a Stanley Cup winner. He brings a ring and he’s only 27 years old. The other thing is, he makes us bigger on the wings. He’s not a 6-4 guy, but that’s a major issue for our team. We go and face a team like San Jose, and we’re very small on the wings. We’ve got to continue to address that. He helps that. We’re not done there, but it is an issue and he helps address that.
“He is signed for the same length as Sully, and we took on a little more salary than with Sully, but that’s just a reflection of the player. His injuries, obviously, were a big thing going into it, before it blew up last night, before it was interrupted by a certain writer. We had his knees checked out. He’s had a couple freak injuries here in the last couple years, but we had that all checked out and made sure we were getting a 27-year-old athlete here. That took a long time, to get all the reports and everything here, but we’re satisfied. That broken finger, what are you going to do?”