Justin Williams lone season as team captain in 2018-2019 was one to remember. It cemented his legacy in Raleigh and really started the debate on if he deserves a spot on the Mount Rushmore of Carolina Hurricanes.
Williams, along side fellow 2006 Stanley Cup Champion and first year head coach Rod Brind’Amour, guided a team that found themselves in 2nd to last place in the entire National Hockey League, all the way to a spot in the Wild Card Chaos Squad in the playoffs. Which in turn led to a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals, where the team ultimately fell to the Boston Bruins.
Justin Williams had always been loved by the Hurricanes fan base. And his production on the ice and the way he treated them off the ice cemented that love and connection. He even paid to have the C sewn onto every single on of the Williams jerseys that were brought into The Eye on opening night that season.
The much loved, unless you’re an old fuddy duddy like Don Cherry, post home game win Storm Surge celebration was also the brain child of Williams. The celebrations took the entire hockey world by…storm.
Following the 2018-2019 season, Williams was an unrestricted free agent. Rather than resign with the Hurricanes for one last run, Williams elected to step away from hockey for a while. Which however is a tough pill to swallow, the Hurricanes fans accepted the decision and thanked him for what he’d done.
He was replaced by Jordan Staal as team captain this year. As of this writing, Williams still has not made a decision on if he’ll return to the Carolina Hurricanes or retire all together.
Now we’ve talked about one Staal captain, but what about the other?