Kings forward and reigning Conn Smythe winner Justin Williams said in mid-January he wanted to stop new contract talks until the offseason — but it sounds like he and the Kings didn’t leave those discussions in a very productive place.
“They have respected our position of leaving negotiations until after the season,” Williams’ agent, Thane Campbell, told ESPN this week. “That being said, they have obviously not accepted our most recent contract position.”
Williams, 33, is in the last of a four-year, $14.6 million deal with a $3.65M annual cap hit. While his points-per-game average has dipped steadily over the last five seasons, he’s still on pace for around 20 goals and 40 points and remains one of the most productive postseason players in the league, having won three Stanley Cups while racking up 78 points in 115 career playoff games.
But it sure sounds like he and Campbell aren’t ready to budge off their latest offer.
Back in January, Campbell basically said what he told ESPN this week, explaining that the plan was to hold off on negotiations… but adding that, if L.A. was to accept their demands, Williams would sign immediately.
“Our intention is to leave negotiations until after the season,” he said. “However, if they accepted our current position at any time, the deal would get done. We are not removing our last offer from the table and I believe they understand our position has little flexibility.”
The Kings and GM Dean Lombardi have been very active recently, re-signing Jordan Nolan (three years, $2.85 million) and Kyle Clifford (five years, $8 million). Lombardi also acquired Andrej Sekera from Carolina and questions have already been asked about Sekera signing an extension, not unlike what Marian Gaborik did following his trade from Columbus.
Sekera and Williams won’t be the only Kings needing a new deals this summer. Jarret Stoll will go unrestricted on July 1, and prized rookies Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson will become RFAs.