Since I first broke into the league a day after my 19th birthday back in 2000, this game has brought me so much that I will never be able to repay it. The countless experiences, relationships, lessons and hardships will remain with me forever as I move on to the next stage of my life. I’ve never once taken for granted the privilege it is to be able to play a game for a living, and that is probably why I was able to play it professionally for as long as I have…
…My family has sacrificed a lot for me to be where I am so I want to thank mom and dad for being there for me every step of the way. My sister Nikki for being my biggest fan since day one. My wife Kelly and my kids Jaxon and Jade for embracing this journey with me. Life is so much better when you have people you love to share it with. Thank you everyone as I retire from pro hockey.
If this is truly the end for Williams (he’s teased us before), he’ll leave an outstanding legacy as one of the most timely performers in NHL history. 44 of his 320 career regular season goals were game-winners, and he routinely broke hearts in the playoffs with elimination-game offense. He won the Stanley Cup three times, raising it twice with the Los Angeles Kings and once in 2006 with the Carolina Hurricanes, the team he finished his career with. In 2014 he was the Conn Smythe winner after racking up 25 points in 26 games, including the overtime game-winning goal to start the final series.
His 1,264 regular season games put him 79th all-time and he hangs up his skates just shy of 800 points with 797.