Here’s the interview with Justin Williams. As you’ll see below, the Kings also posted many of the quotes with Williams’ interviews last night, so I tried to ask some different questions today and you can read all of the quotes here…
Question: After getting to hang around last night and this morning, are things starting to settle in a little bit?
WILLIAMS: “I don’t think I’ll be settled and happy until I get out there and play. Yeah, I feel part of the team and everyone has welcomed me, but I’m not going to realistically feel at home until I start contributing. I’m just trying to get the lay of the land and get to know the guys, because I don’t know anybody.”
Question: Obviously it was only one game, and a pretty wild game at that, but what were your impressions from watching the team last night?
WILLIAMS: “I watched the game from above, and I was studying the media guide and just trying to get to know what type of player everybody is. It’s going to take a couple games, and probably a lot longer than that, to really get a feel for everyone. But when I do get into the lineup, I want to know the players that I’m playing with as much as I can. The game was exciting, definitely exciting. I know that the guys haven’t really had a problem coming back this year. They’ve had quite a few games where they have been down a couple goals late and come back and won. I think that’s very promising, because it’s such a young team. When you have confidence and don’t get upset when you’re down a couple goals, it’s fine. Being young and having no worries and having that confidence that you can come back, no matter what the score is, that’s really positive and that showed last night.”
Question: You mentioned this being a young team. Not a lot of guys here have even been to the playoffs. You’ve won a Stanley Cup. What do they need to know about what it takes to crack that level?
WILLIAMS: “Well, I’m not downsizing the Stanley Cup win and the playoffs, but everybody is eventually going to get there. This team is, if not this year than definitely next year. It’s really close. I’m not going to act like this old veteran who knows everything, because I don’t. I’ve been to the playoffs a couple times and I was fortunate enough to play on a real good team and be a part of something real special. That’s something that I want to bring here, but the guys here are more than capable of carrying themselves throughout the playoffs. I’m going to help, maybe when we do get there, just as a calming factor, as someone who has been there before.”
Question: How is the knee strength at this point. Are you 100 percent there?
WILLIAMS: “There are no problems with my health, other than my finger. I’m just waiting to get out there. It’s frustrating to come to a new team and not be able to contribute right away. They go out for practice today and I’m in the weight room, so that’s frustrating, but it’s something that should be over soon.”
Question: Terry talked about getting you out there just to skate a little bit. Is that something you might do soon?
WILLIAMS: “Yeah. I’m going to see the hand doctor in about an hour and a half here, and he will make a plan for me, of what we’re going to do. But yeah, I’m definitely going to get back on the ice as soon as possible.”
There are many more quotes from Justin Williams below, or you can click here.
(Re: Being traded to the Kings): “I think whenever anyone is traded it’s highly unlikely that they knew about it beforehand, and that was the case for me. I was definitely shocked, especially because I was on the injured reserve list. I really didn’t expect it, but these things happen and they come as a shock and most of the time they work out for the best.”
(Re: Status of his hand injury): “I just met with the Kings’ doctors here and got an X-ray. I’ll see a specialist tomorrow and then from there we’ll make a decision on what the game plan is going to be. It will be three weeks this weekend, and broken bone time tables are pretty set at four to six weeks recovery. I’m hoping to get back as soon as I can and help the team. I’ll be starting to skate soon, and I’m definitely sick of the stationary bike. There are always ways around injuries for keeping yourself in shape, but albeit there’s nothing like skating, there’s nothing like game play. You can just simulate as best you can. But I’m excited and ready to get back out there. Unfortunately it’s going to take a little bit of time but it won’t be long before I’m back out there.”
(Re: Williams’ past injuries): “I feel things happen in three’s and I’ve had three straight injuries after some pretty good runs. I’m looking to getting back to being healthy and I know I’m not far away from doing that. When I am, I’m going to be a good asset to this team.”
(Re: Familiarity with the Kings’ staff): “I think whenever you do come to a new team and you see some familiar faces it makes the adjustment period a lot easier for a new player coming in. Having Ron Hextall pick me up from the airport and being familiar with Dean Lombardi and the management here makes me a lot more comfortable. I don’t know as many of the guys as I’d like to, but that will come. I’m excited to be a part of a young team here.”
(Re: Playing a 30-goal season): “I’ve got plenty of those seasons left in me, I’m only 27. My best years are hopefully right ahead of me. The skill is there and I know I’m going to get a great opportunity here to further my career and be successful. I’m going to get an opportunity to play with some really good players with a lot of enthusiasm and that will result in a lot of good play.”
(Re: Leadership on the team): “I am 27 years old, and when they told me that I was coming here and I was going to be one of the older guys, I had to take that back a little bit and realize that I am going to be a more of a veteran on this team. I’m going to be one of the older guys with a few more games and a little bit more experience. But I’m just looking to be myself, I’m not looking to be anyone I’m not. I’m very respectful, a very blue-collar guy who you know you’re going to get every night. Hopefully that will brush off to some younger guys on the team.”
(Re: Playing in the Western Conference): “I think a few years ago the conferences were different, but now they have molded together and they are kind of similar. Where the west seemed like it was wide open, it doesn’t seem that way anymore. I’m just really excited to come here and just to see the youthful enthusiasm even though I’ve only been here a couple of hours. You can just feel it with the guys in the dressing room and I’m excited to be a part of that.”
(Re: Traveling on road trips): “I wouldn’t worry about it myself, you have teams close now and no one flies commercial anymore. Travel is going to be a little bit longer than what I’m used to, but definitely not something that’s going to hinder anyone’s performance.”
(Re: Style of play): “I bring a hard two-way game. I work as hard in the offensive zone as I do in the defensive zone. We have a lot of players that are similar to that affect. I’m a guy who has scored 30 goals in a season a couple of times and I know I can get there again. I’m going to work hard and contribute offensively. I’m going to be, I guess, an older guy in the dressing room for a little bit of leadership, which to me is going to be a change but it is something I’m going to welcome.”
(Re: Being traded to LA): “I just got here a couple of hours ago. It’s a whirlwind 24 hours when you get traded. You get told, you get shipped out, you come over here and it’s not exactly a 45-minute flight–it’s cross-country. I’m in a hotel now and we’ll see how the rest of the season plays out here. I’m looking to set some roots and be here for a while. I’ve actually worked out and trained here in Los Angeles for two summers about three of four years ago [with Chelios’ group] so I’m kind of familiar with the area. Coming to a team that is on such an uphill climb in that they are really going places, and things are looking in the right direction and everything seems so positive, that’s what made me excited. Being familiar with everyone here and knowing that I have an opportunity myself to be a part of that, that’s what I’m most excited about, that I’ll be relied upon and part of hopefully a core of this team that stays together for a while.”