Justin Williams will return to Carolina on a one-year deal
Justin Williams has agreed to a one-year deal that will see him don a Carolina Hurricanes sweater again. The 38-year-old Williams had made the decision to step back from hockey this offseason but stayed close to the team, having been spotted at the facility on multiple occasions. Now the comeback is official, the hiatus is over, and Mr. Game 7 will skate once more.
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There had been rumors of Williams signing elsewhere with Washington, Toronto, and Boston all said to have expressed interest in Williams. Williams was in the Owners suite with Tom Dundon at tonight’s game vs Philadelphia and it is expected that this will be a swan song for Williams as he plans to retire as a Hurricane.
A returning Williams will bring a high level of leadership that should prove worthwhile for a team that has struggled with discipline as of late. Williams also brings a high handed shot to a forwards group that is laden with southpaws. Last year Williams posted 27 goals and 33 assists in 97 games.
Williams and the Hurricanes had been in negotiations for the last couple of days. Much of the discussion revolved around the cap rules involving players above the age of 35 and ensuring that the team had the ability to make moves later in the season. The deal gives Williams a base salary of $700,000 and $1.3 million in potential bonuses.
Williams is a fan favorite and a major player in Hurricanes history. Williams has scored 120 goals and 185 assists in 429 games as a Hurricane. Williams was also instrumental both the Eastern Conference finals run last season and the 2006 Stanley Cup run. Williams is currently7th in team history for both goals and assists as a Hurricane as well as 15th in team history in Games played.