Dean Lombardi: Gambling Big On Justin Williams
INTERVIEW WITH DEAN LOMBARDI: In part 3 of a series of stories based on an interview with Los Angeles Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi, Frozen Royalty focuses on what Justin Williams is likely to contribute next season, as well as the higher expectations the 2009-10 Kings will face. Look for part 4 in this series coming soon.
EL SEGUNDO, CA — Despite seeing his team fail to qualify for post-season play for the sixth consecutive season, Los Angeles Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi expects his team to end that long drought in the 2009-10 season.
One glaring flaw with that expectation is that he seems be banking rather heavily on winger Justin Williams to not only provide a significant boost to the offense, but also to stay relatively healthy.
But Williams has hit the thirty-goal mark just twice in his career and has otherwise struggled just to remain in the lineup, suffering from a myriad of injuries, including two serious knee injuries, casting serious doubts on his ability to regain his thirty-goal form.
Indeed, the odds against Williams returning to form, let alone staying healthy, would seem to be very, very high, if not astronomical.
Nevertheless, Lombardi is counting on Williams to add to the offensive production of his younger players to help lift the Kings into the playoffs.