50 Percent Chance
Hiding behind the defense and goalie discussion is one simple question. What will Justin Williams do? The Captain has played every single game in his two year stretch in Carolina – which considering his age is incredible – and is the leader of this team.
His current contract ended this season and he will be an Unrestricted Free Agent. Unlikely to sign with another team, Williams’ decision is simple; play a 19th season with Carolina or call it a career. Had Carolina won the Cup, the chances of him returning would have been likely 0. But getting that close with all the core coming back might be enough to entice him to make one more run at it.
If there has been a decision made from Williams, he hasn’t said anything about it. The only comments he has made about next season came at the conclusion of the Eastern Conference Finals during the player season ending exit interviews.
Another coin toss of in free agency is pending Unrestricted Free Agent Greg McKegg. McKegg had a surprisingly good season; coming in to the year he had only scored 7 career goals. In 18-19 alone he had 6 and then 2 more in the playoffs.
If Martin Necas is deemed ready to play in the NHL this year and Williams’ decides to give it another shot, this would likely see McKegg walk. On the other hand, the Hurricanes could consider him their 13th forward and make the opening night roster as a healthy scratch.
These two Unrestricted Free Agents with completely different careers suddenly are grouped together waiting to see what happens. Either way, the future of these players in Carolina is a complete coin flip.