The Hurricanes are inducting longtime winger Justin Williams into their club Hall of Fame this season, per a team announcement. Williams retired as a Hurricane after wrapping up a 19-year, 1,264-game career in 2020 and could be a longshot candidate for induction into the overall Hockey Hall of Fame down the road after winning three Stanley Cup championships.
The first of those three wins came as a Hurricane in 2006, which remains the franchise’s only championship to date. After exploding for a then-career-high 31 goals and 76 points in the regular season, Williams averaged over 21 minutes per game in the playoffs and logged 18 points in 25 games as the Hurricanes defeated the Oilers in the Stanley Cup Final. He would go on to play a major role in the Los Angeles Kings’ two Stanley Cup wins in 2012 and 2014, winning the Conn Smythe Trophy in the latter after scoring 25 points in 26 games and leading the team with a +13 rating. After a later stint with the Capitals, Williams returned to the Hurricanes in 2017 and helped the team’s young core of Sebastian Aho, Andrei Svechnikov and others make the postseason in 2019 after a decade-long drought. His 15 career points in Game 7s are the NHL all-time record, and he’s remained with the Hurricanes post-retirement in an advisory role to GM Don Waddell.
Other tidbits from Metropolitan Division teams today:
- Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield is back skating after sustaining a foot injury earlier this month. However, head coach Lane Lambert told Newsday’s Andrew Gross today that he hasn’t joined the team at practice, and there remains no timetable for his return. Mayfield remains on the active roster, although he hasn’t played since logging 16:47, two shots, two hits, and four blocks in the team’s season opener against the Sabres on October 14. 22-year-old Samuel Bolduc has entered the lineup in Mayfield’s stead, although he remains without a point and has a -1 rating in shockingly limited usage, averaging just 8:49 per game. Mayfield, 31, is in the first season of a seven-year, $24.5MM contract extension signed last summer.
- Penguins defenseman John Ludvig did indeed sustain a concussion in last night’s loss against the Stars and remains out of the lineup indefinitely, head coach Mike Sullivan told the Tribune-Review’s Seth Rorabaugh Wednesday. Ludvig, 23, had played just 5:29 in his NHL debut when he attempted to land an open-ice hit on Stars forward Radek Faksa, whose helmet collided with Ludvig’s jaw and caused him to fall to the ice. Pittsburgh claimed the young defenseman off waivers from the Panthers at the beginning of the season.
- While he played the whole game, another Penguin sustained an injury yesterday – netminder Alex Nedeljkovic, who could not be a full participant in practice today thanks to an undisclosed injury. A summer free agent addition to serve as the backup to starter Tristan Jarry, Nedeljkovic made 30 saves on 34 shots last night, his first start since an October 14 win against the Flames. Overall, Nedeljkovic has fared well through two contests, posting a .914 SV% and 3.01 GAA after posting the worst numbers of his career last season with the Red Wings.