Around the Rink – August 7 Edition

D042653037.JPGPhoto by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Detroit Red Wings welcomed Jason Williams back into the fold on Thursday, signing the forward to a one-year deal. This contract marks Williams’ second stint with Detroit after he spent six seasons wearing the Winged Wheel earlier in his career. The Detroit Free Press reports that the deal is worth $1.5 million.

“I’m excited to get back,” Williams said in a phone interview today from London, Ont. “I always enjoyed my time in Detroit, met some great people there and to be able to re-sign is nice. Not many people get traded away and brought back. With what the Wings have lost this year in free agency, they’re trying to get some scoring and hopefully I can provide that.”

The Windsor Star talked to GM Ken Holland about the signing as well as the impact it would have as the team squeezes under the salary cap maximum limit:

“From a locker room and character standpoint, we know him and like him,”  Holland said. “We know his strengths. It’s not like we’re getting something we don’t know.” …

“We feel he has the chance to score 15 to 20 goals, maybe more,” Holland said. “He can skate and we like speed. He can play the right point, I’m thinking that Jonathan Ericsson will do that too. We just needed a right winger. It’s a one-year deal, so there’s no term and it’s at a cap number that fits in.”

Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids Press has some more comments from Williams about the signing:

“There aren’t really too many teams to choose from where you’re almost guaranteed to make the playoffs,” Williams said. “To come back to an organization with great ownership, management, coaching, depth, is great.” …

“It would have been nice to get a long-term deal, but you’ve got to look at what’s best for you and what’s a good fit,” Williams said. “And what team is better for that than the Detroit Red Wings?”

Opinions have been mixed in the blogosphere, but they all agree that Williams will likely replace the void left by Mikael Samuelsson on the point for the second power-play unit.

In Other News

  • Yahoo! Sports posted an interview with Jiri Hudler, answering some questions about the whole NHL-KHL situation and his plans with Dynamo Moscow this season.
  • On Wednesday, Hockeytown Blog linked to the report that the Plymouth Whalers (OHL) had acquired Wings’ prospect Tomas Tatar from the Kitchener Rangers. However, the Detroit Free Press reports that Tatar may not be able to get out of the final year of his contract in Slovakia and will have to wait one more year before he can play in the OHL.
  • Darren Helm joined Chicago’s Jonathan Toews and other NHLers to raise money for charity yesterday evening.
  • Red Wings’ prospect Evan McGrath hopes to have a strong outing at training camp.
  • Sporting News has pitted Nicklas Lidstrom against New Jersey Devils’ netminder Martin Brodeur, asking fans to vote on which athlete is the best of the decade.
  • Kris at Snipe Snipe, Dangle Dangle found the Red Wings’ intro video during the playoffs as well as a couple other favorite Red Wings videos.
  • Former Red Wing Brendan Shanahan signed a one-year contract extension with the New Jersey Devils.
  • American-born star Jeremy Roenick announced his retirement on Thursday, ending a 20-year career.
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