Williams was left unprotected by Washington heading into the expansion draft, Isabelle Khurshudyan of The Washington Post reports.

General manager Brian MacLellan appears to have had a clear plan in place regarding his protected players as none of the Capitals' unrestricted free agents -- including Williams -- was protected. It would seem to be a sound strategy as it prevents Washington from losing a player in free agency that it elected to not make available, thereby risking another player who was under contract. The 35-year-old notched his fourth straight 40-plus point season in 2016-17 and would seem like a near-lock if not for the availability of T.J. Oshie, Philipp Grubauer, Kevin Shattenkirk and Brooks Orpik.

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