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Penguins add depth, sign Jason Williams to a one-year, two-way deal

Steve Staios, Jason Williams

Dallas Stars right wing Jason Williams (27) controls the puck against Calgary Flames’ Steve Staios, right, in the first period of an NHL hockey game on Wednesday, March 9, 2011, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)


The Penguins will never say “no” to a player capable of playing the wing and potentially able to score goals. After all, such is life when you have Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin and a desperate need to surround them with guys capable of handling their passes to help score more goals.

The Pens did some work in that department already by bringing in former Nashville standout Steve Sullivan and now they’re hoping they can catch some lightning in a bottle by signing former Red Wing and Stars forward Jason Williams to a one-year, two-way contract. Should Williams stick with the Penguins, the contract will pay him $600,000.

Last year with Dallas, Williams had two goals and three assists in 27 games with the Stars. In the past as a Red Wing and a Blackhawk, he was used as a power play helper with a decent shot. Now on the other side of 30 years-old, Williams will be strictly a depth help guy with solid NHL experience.

With some of the minor league losses the Penguins have seen this summer (Tim Wallace to the Islanders, Chris Conner to Detroit for example) getting Williams into the mix at Wilkes Barre-Scranton makes a world of sense. If the Pens are somehow stricken by the same injury problems they had last season, calling on a guy like Williams will at least help for a bit as younger guys like Dustin Jeffrey and Mark Letestu should have full-time jobs in Pittsburgh next season.