The 38 year old veteran, Justin Williams, had announced he was stepping away from the game, but is he close to returning to the Carolina Hurricanes?
It is no secret that Mr Game Seven remains close to the franchise that he captained last season, and close to the friends and teammates he had with him over the past few years, but it has been thought he is close to returning. When is it realistic to expect him back?
Justin Williams supposedly resumed skating while the team was away during their road trip of California, and with Erik Haula side-lined for an extended amount of time, there’s a spot in the line-up that would need to be filled. Ideally, by someone who can contribute to help lead the team, and who better to do that than the teams former captain?
Williams hasn’t ever really disconnected from the Hurricanes franchise, he still golfs with Carolina Hurricanes Owner Tom Dundon, Head Coach Rod Brind’amour, and former goaltender Cam Ward. He has been spotted around Raleigh, sounding off the Hurricane Warning Siren in one game of the season. Most recently, he’s been spotted at a Checkers game in Charlotte.
With Justin Williams skating, a spot open in the top 6, and Martinooks injury in the leadership department, the scene looks set for Williams to come back and join this team, a little similar to what Mike Fisher did with the Nashville Predators a few years back. Fischer re-joined the team at the deadline, and although it didn’t end in the blaze of glory he was hoping for, the story may be different for the Mr Game Seven.
Justin Williams has a monster 1244 NHL games played, 312 goals, 474 assists and 786 points. Williams has 429 games with Carolina, recording 120 goals and 185 assists for 305 points. He tallied 23 goals and 30 assists last year for 53 points. Williams also has 3 Stanley Cup rings and a Conn Smythe award to his name. He is one of the greats in Carolina Hurricanes history.
Williams turned 38 on October 4th, and is not getting any younger. He originally decided to step away from the game because he wanted to be committed to his future, either in the league, or after he had retired.
With the team hopefully that the former captain will rejoin them in the near future, he has started to work out more and more trying to get back into shape. This becomes the idea of Williams returning to the Canes at a time where they can continue to push on and figure out what to do with their top 9.
Carolina have a dire need for the forward. Eight of the top 9 are great players, but they’re missing that one guy to take over when Warren Foegele goes through his slumps and Williams has always been Mr Consistency. There is a strong feeling for the need of Justin Williams throughout the organisation. Let’s just hope Justin feels the need to continue to play.