Justin Williams is headed back to the Carolina Hurricanes on a two-year deal. TSN’s Aaron Ward tweets that the Hurricanes are bringing back Mr. Game 7, who spent five seasons with the ’Canes before being dealt to the LA Kings during the 2008-09 season. From there Williams won two Cups with the Kings and then signed with the Washington Capitals in 2015. He won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2014. The Hurricanes announced that the deal is worth $9MM, with Williams being paid $5MM in 2017-18 and then $4MM in 2018-19.
The 35-year-old winger seems to get better with age, putting up 24 goals this past year with the Capitals, albeit on a great offensive squad. Those 24 goals are his highest totals since the 2006-07 season when he was with the Hurricanes. He has become known as a clutch performer, especially in the playoffs. His consistency as both a goal-scorer and a passer remain the top reasons that a team would offer that type of money at his age.
On top of that, his playoff experience stands out, having won three Stanley Cup titles, including the 2014 playoffs when he scored 25 points in 26 games. Williams brings veteran leadership to a young Canes team looking to make some noise this season in the East. With a slew of signings and trades that saw them add Scott Darling in net, Carolina is positioning themselves to take a step forward.
PHR ranked Williams as the seventh best free agent, and had him receiving a two-year deal at $6.5MM.