Carolina Hurricanes Legend Justin Williams may have played his last game.
With the Carolina Hurricanes eliminated from the post-season, there’s rumors of it being the last game in the career of Justin Williams.
There’s a lot of words that can be used to describe the former captain. Clutch, relentless, fearless, outstanding all spring to mind immediately. Whatever you’d like to call him, Justin Williams has had an incredible NHL career. Both in Carolina and around the NHL with the LA Kings, Philadelphia Flyers, and Washington Capitals.
To this point in his career, the Cobourg, Ontario native has 320 goals and 477 assists for 797 points in 1264 games. Collecting three Stanley cup rings and a Conn Smythe for his Herculean effort in helping the 2014 Los Angeles Kings collect Lord Stanley’s cup. An incredible career from the man dubbed “Mr. Game Seven”.
Those of you newer fans, or fans who read this later who don’t know why he is called Mr. Game 7. He has 7 goals and 8 assists in 9 game 7s. That’s 15 points in do or die games. He’s the player you would want when you get to game 7. His ability to just get himself on the scoresheet at the most vital of times has created the mystique of Justin Williams. Having an 8-1 record when in those game sevens has helped.
Justin Williams has been in the NHL for 19 years. Originally drafted in 2000 by the Philadelphia Flyer, Williams has made an impact no one will forget. Capturing three Stanley cups, a Conn Smythe, and countless other team awards, Williams has had a very successful career in the National Hockey League.
Focusing in on his numbers with the Carolina Hurricanes organization, over 8 years with the team, Williams has recorded 128 goals and 188 assists for 316 points in 449 games. Not numbers hat stand out as someone with a headline career for the Hurricanes. However, he did more for the team than just the one ice product.
The little thing known as the storm surge? Yeah, Justin Williams was the captain who installed that beauty into the world. His guidance gave us the surge. Beating teams. and celebrating with the fans. Pushing on from that idea, it was really the actions of Williams that set the fire under Don Cherry.
Why is Don Cherry important here? Williams’ actions set up the “Bunch of Jerks” rant from the old man screaming at clouds. (I say that very tongue-in-cheek, Don Cherry has done more in professional hockey than I have, so who am I to judge?) Williams in a way is responsible for the whole notion of the Canes being Jerks.
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There are somethings that supersede the on-ice production of any one player. With Justin Williams, it’s more everything he did with the surge, his production when it mattered most, and when the Canes needed him he’s always been there. I’ve not even mentioned his goal in game 7 against Edmonton to seal the Stanley Cup coming to Raleigh.
Williams’ career may be coming to an end, and as sad as it is, you cannot sit around wishing it was continuing. There’s a lot of fan bases around the NHL that would have loved to have someone like Williams on their team for a long time, and we were lucky enough to have him down in Carolina. Even if he is hanging them up (and to this point, that is pure speculation) we have the memories of his career.