Report: ‘Not much common ground’ between Kings, Williams

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In the latest edition of Elliotte Friedman’s “30 Thoughts,” a quick blurb likely felt like a swift stab to Los Angeles Kings fans: it sounds like negotiations aren’t going well with Justin Williams.

Specifically, Friedman noted that there isn’t “much common ground” between the two sides at the moment. Yikes.

It’s interesting timing, as the 33-year-old was the featured UFA of the Day on Saturday, even acknowledging the possibility that he sticks with the Kings. While that could still happen, plenty of fans whose teams are missing that “one piece” might feel like their dreams of adding “Mr. Game 7” are more credible with this update.

One can understand why Williams would want to test the market.

Frankly, the pool of free agents is sparse both in terms of quantity and quality. You simply don’t see players of Williams’ caliber hit UFA status very often, and he could greatly inflate his asking price – both in dollars and term – thanks to the lack of competition.

Granted, about a month ago, the veteran winger told Sportsnet that it isn’t just about money; it’s plausible that he’d compromise his payday at least to some degree to try to land with a winner. That doesn’t necessarily mean he’d only stick with Los Angeles, though (hey, have you heard that the Pittsburgh Penguins might be in the market for wingers?).

Williams has never carried a cap hit of more than $3.65 million and his largest single contract total was $17.5 million overall. Could you really blame him if he sought out a big deal considering all he’s accomplished?