While the Hurricanes would certainly like to have winger Justin Williams return for one more season, they are currently approaching things as if he will retire, head coach Rod Brind’Amour told Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer. The 37-year-old is coming off a strong season that saw him pick up 23 goals and 30 assists in 2018-19 so he could certainly still contribute to Carolina. However, if the veteran does decide to come back, his contract will need to be structured differently from the $4.5MM AAV on his previous deal. With the team being fairly tight to the Upper Limit already, Williams will need to accept a bonus-laden pact if he ultimately decides to return.
Elsewhere in the East:
- While defenseman Alex Petrovic will be attending training camp with the Bruins, the defenseman told Postmedia’s Jim Matheson that he did have multiple two-way offers over the course of the offseason. However, he wasn’t prepared to accept a deal like that just yet and will instead try to squeeze out a spot on a fairly deep defensive group in Boston even factoring in that Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo remain restricted free agents. However, if that falls through, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him snap up a two-way deal assuming that option is still available.
- While winger Emil Bemstrom is expected to contend for a roster spot with the Blue Jackets this season, he won’t be suiting up for them in their upcoming prospect tournament, notes Brian Hedger of the Columbus Dispatch. He’s dealing with a facial injury although the team is hopeful that he’ll be ready for the start of training camp. The 2017 fourth-round pick led the SHL in goals last season and will likely be part of a big youth movement that’s upcoming following the departure of several veterans this summer.