Free agent winger Justin Williams has resumed skating, reports TSN’s Frank Seravalli. The 38-year-old announced last month that he was ‘stepping away’ from the game as he wasn’t quite ready to decide on his playing future at the time. While this certainly doesn’t mean he’s coming back, it at least suggests that he’s open to the possibility. Williams is believed to have spurned overtures from several teams over the summer and the belief at this time is that if he does return, it would only be with Carolina. While the Hurricanes don’t have enough cap room to pay anywhere near the $4.5MM AAV he had on his last contract, they would be able to structure it with achievable performance bonuses that could be applied on their cap next season when the buyout of Patrick Marleau is off the books.
Elsewhere around the hockey world:
- Speaking of Marleau, Toronto head coach Mike Babcock suggested to reporters, including Curtis Pashelka of The Mercury News (Twitter link) that the 40-year-old’s goal is to break the all-time NHL record in games played. That mark is currently held by the late Gordie Howe, who suited up in 1,767 regular season NHL contests. Marleau enters play tonight 104 games shy of matching that mark so if he does intend to break that record, he’ll have to stick around for another season after this one. Considering it took him until into the season to land a contract, that’s not a guarantee to happen though Marleau is off to a strong start with six points in as many games.
- The Rangers will decide at the end of the season whether or not they want to turn defense prospect K’Andre Miller pro or leave him in college, notes ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski. The 22nd pick in 2018 had a very strong freshman campaign with Wisconsin and is off to a good start in his sophomore year as well which could potentially put him in the mix for a spot in the New York lineup down the stretch if the team decides that Miller foregoing his final two years of college eligibility is best for his development.